Streets
of
Camden, NJ

Cooper Street
continued

Unit, 100 & 200 Blocks 300 Block
400 Block 500 Block
600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, & 1200 Blocks
1900 & 2000 Block

COOPER STREET is one of the oldest streets in Camden, and is named after the Cooper family. William Cooper was one of the first settlers in this part of New Jersey. Camden was known as Cooper's Ferries for many years prior to the city being incorporated in 1828.

The curb line of Cooper Street, from Front Street to the tracks of the Camden & Atlantic Railroad Company, were moved twelve feet towards the center, and the street paved with Belgian blocks in 1881. In 1927 the curb lines were moved back twelve feet from 4th Street to 9th Street. This improvement was completed in September of 1927. 

Cooper Street runs from the waterfront east to 9th Street, with a short block of homes and business still standing above 11th Street. Prior to the construction of Interstate Route I-676, Cooper Street ran all the way to 12th Street. Cooper Street was for many years one of the most prestigious addresses in Camden, and many homes of historic significance, due to both the residents and the architects of said homes, were and still are on Cooper Street. 

The "beginning of the end" for Cooper Street came in the early 1920s, when three mansions were torn down to make room for the Walt Whitman Hotel. On June 30, 1940 all the homes on the south side of the 900 block were destroyed when the R.M. Hollingshead chemical factory, which occupied most of the block, fronting on 9th and on Market Streets, exploded and burned to the ground. 

Little known outside of East Camden is the "other" Cooper Street, which runs between North 19th and East State Street. This short street only has one single family home and a block of 13 row homes.

Do you have an Cooper Street memory or picture. Let me know by e-mail so it can be included here.

 Phil Cohen


Journalist Will Paul wrote an article around 1940 about growing up on Cooper Street in the 1880s. Be sure to read his Memories of Old Cooper Street.


COOPER STREET WEST OF FIFTH STREET
- Back -


600 Block of Cooper Street
Looking West from 626 Cooper Street - About 1907

Left side of street: The building with the conical roof is 538 Cooper Street. The building at far left is 604 Cooper Street. Also visible is 544, 542, 540, 538, 534, and 532 Cooper. Right: The first building at far right is 605 Cooper Street


600 Block of Cooper Street
601
Cooper Street

Meisel Tire Company

Camden Courier-Post
August 2, 1933

Click on Images to Enlarge

605
Cooper Street

The
William Scull House
as early as 1887 to at least 1947

Click on Images to Enlarge

605
Cooper Street

1880s-1900s
William S. Scull & Family
Boscul Coffee

Philadelphia Inquirer
February 18, 1900

Click on Image for PDF File
of Complete Article

608
Cooper Street

December 2002

Click on Images to Enlarge

608
Cooper Street

December 2002

Click on Images to Enlarge

611
Cooper Street

George Genge Browning
Dye Factory - 1870s-1880s
John T. Bottomley
President, Camden Woolen Mills
1889s-1890s

The roof of this building is visible behind the trees, between 605 Cooper and the Hotel Walt Whitman

  613
Cooper Street
  618
Cooper Street

Malcolm MacDonald
Lawyer
1870s-1890s


Northwest Corner of Broadway & Cooper Street
The Terminal Block - 1947-2000
Built on land that had been occupied in part by 605 and 611 Cooper Street
Camden
Courier-Post

December 1947

Click on Image to Enlarge


Prior to the early 1920s Broadway stopped at Market Street, and Cooper Street was uninterupted between North 6th and North 7th Streets. 617 Cooper Street was acquired by the Community Hotel Corporation and then sold to the City of Camden so the North Broadway could be completed through to the bridge plaza. Construction of the Hotel Walt Whitman, the First Camden National Bank & Trust Building, the Wilson Building soon followed. The Terminal Block on the northwest corner came later, after World War II.


600 Block of Cooper Street
Southeast of Broadway & Cooper Street
The
Wilson Building


Broadway
&
Cooper Street

April 17, 2004

Click on Images to Enlarge

The Wilson Building

Broadway
&
Cooper Street

2003

Click on Images to Enlarge

Weitzman Liquors
in
The Wilson Building,
&

622 Cooper Street

2003

Click on Images to Enlarge


600 Block of Cooper Street - Before 1925
601 Cooper Street

1955
W.W. Fairweather Optical Company

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

603 Cooper Street

1955
South Jersey Sporting Goods Co.
Pat Bendetta

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

Click on Images to Enlarge

  610 Cooper Street

1910s Charles Stockham

617 Cooper Street

Click on Images to Enlarge

  618 Cooper Street

1900s-1920s Belford G. Royal

  620 Cooper Street
622 Cooper Street

April 17, 2004

Click on Images to Enlarge

622 Cooper Street

1955
George Robeson & Son
realtors

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

  625 Cooper Street

1946-1947
Walt Whitman Flower Shop
1947 Evelyn Odlen

625 Cooper Street

1955
Flowers By Hayes
S. H Hayes

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

626 Cooper Street

Cyrus H.K. Curtis
1890-1894

626 Cooper Street

1894
Cyrus H.K. Curtis

Philadelphia Inquirer
February 18, 1894

Click on Image for PDF File
of Complete Article

627
Cooper Street

Click on Images to Enlarge

627 & 633
Cooper Street

627 Cooper, designed by Arthur Truscott,
for his brother,
J. Lynn Truscott

Click on Images to Enlarge

627 & 633
Cooper Street

Howard M. Cooper
lived at 633 Cooper Street in the 1890s
H.B. Hanford H.B. Hanford & Alice Hanford
1890s-1920s

Click on Images to Enlarge

  631
Cooper Street

1955
International Business Machines Corporation

634-640
Cooper Street

1955
Kirk's Atlantic Service

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

Click on Image to Enlarge

  638
Cooper Street

George K. Johnson
Umbrella Manufacturer
1870s-1887
Isaac Z. Collings
Carriage Builder
1887-1890s

639
Cooper Street

Benjamin C. Reeve
1870s-1880s

Click on Images to Enlarge

639
Cooper Street

Camden Lodge 293
Benevolent Protective Order of Elks
under construction
 
1920s-1930s
The LEAP Academy 2002-2006
Click on Images to Enlarge

639
Cooper Street

Camden Lodge 293
Benevolent Protective Order of Elks
1920s-1930s
construction photo published 1925
Building designed by
Joshua C. Jefferis, architect

The LEAP Academy 2002-2006
Click on Images to Enlarge

639
Cooper Street

Camden Lodge 293
Benevolent Protective Order of Elks
1920s-1930s
photo published 1928
Building designed by
Joshua C. Jefferis, architect

639
Cooper Street

Camden Lodge 293
Benevolent Protective Order of Elks
1920s-1930s
photo published 1928
Building designed by
Joshua C. Jefferis, architect


611-633 Cooper Street
Northeast Corner of Broadway & Cooper Street

The Hotel Walt Whitman & Annex

Left: The Hotel Walt Whitman - 1933 Right: The Hotel Walt Whitman - 1950s
Elks Home, now The LEAP Academy, at far right

Click on Images to Enlarge


Northeast Corner
of
Broadway & Cooper Street

Camden County College
Urban Extension Campus
2004

Click on Images to Enlarge


700 Block of Cooper Street
701 to 721 Cooper Street - 1967
Click on Image to Enlarge
 

700 Block of Cooper Street
  700
Cooper Street

Benjamin Starr
1870s-1880s
Richard Henry Reeve
1887-1917
Augustus H. Reeve
1887-1890s

  701
Cooper Street

Gerard R. Vogels
1870s-1888
  702
Cooper Street

  703
Cooper Street

Benjamin C. Reeve
1870s-1880s
708, 702 & 700
Cooper Street
and the intersection of
North 7th Street & Cooper Street

This photograph was taken before 1926, shown by the fact that the Wilson Building
at
Broadway and Cooper Street
had not been erected and is not to be seen.

708 Cooper Street
is at the extreme left of this photograph 

 

708
Cooper Street

Joseph H. Forsyth

  711
Cooper Street

Samuel H. Grey

  712
Cooper Street

Samuel H. Grey
lawyer,
president
West Jersey Title and Guaranty Co
1887-1990s

Jeremiah Steelman

712
Cooper Street

Furnished Rooms

Camden Courier-Post
June 7, 1933

  714 Cooper Street
  715 Cooper Street

John Cooper
vice-president,
Camden National Bank
1870s-1880s
Howard M. Cooper
lawyer
1870s-1889
William Cooper
1910s-1920s

 

715 Cooper Street

1920s-1960s
Schroeder Funeral Home
Bernhard F. Schroeder
 Bernhard C. Schroeder

715 Cooper Street

1920s-1960s
Schroeder Funeral Home
Bernhard F. Schroeder
 Bernhard C. Schroeder

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

715 Cooper Street

1920s-1960s
Schroeder Funeral Home
Bernhard F. Schroeder
 Bernhard C. Schroeder

Camden Courier-Post Ad
July 17, 1967

715, 717, 719 & 721
Cooper Street

July 1965

  717
Cooper Street

Frank B. Middleton
1870s-1900s

No Houses in 700 Block after 717 before 1880 census
  719
Cooper Street

Alexander Boardman
Real Estate
1887-1890

Amos Cooper
1887-1889

  721
Cooper Street

George Genge Browning
Browning Brothers Dye Works
1887-1890

George Pfeiffer Jr.
1890s-1900s
Dr. James E. Rodger
1933

721
Cooper Street

July 7, 1965

726 Cooper Street
726 is the building at far right

1887-1889
Horace M. Sharp
Charles W. Sharp

1955
Greater Camden Chapter
of the
National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Photo from the 1970s

Click on Image to Enlarge

728
Cooper Street

John F. Harned
1889-1920s

 

728
Cooper Street
726 is the building at center and left

John F. Harned

Photo from the 1970s

Click on Image to Enlarge

728
Cooper Street

John F. Harned

Photo from the 1970s

Click on Image to Enlarge


Cooper Street, looking west from 8th Street
Postcard mailed October 10, 1906
The house on left is 804 Cooper Street

800 Block of Cooper Street
804
Cooper Street

This home, at left, was built by real estate developer and builder Edward N. Cohn. Photo from 1893. David Baird Sr. had acquired the house by 1900, and lived there until his death. David Baird Jr. lived there until October of 1936.

  805
Cooper Street

Dr. John W. Donges
1910s-1920s

MAN JAILED 3 MONTHS IN THEFT OF WATCH

Charged, with the larceny of a watch belonging to Albert L. Hawkins, of Collingswood; John H. Evans, 64, of 2117 Sherman Avenue, was sentenced to three months in jail Saturday by Police Judge Garfield Pancoast.

Hawkins, who is a painter, said he was at work Thursday on the second floor of a vacant house at 805 Cooper Street, when he saw a man come in and take the watch from his trousers, which he had left downstairs.

Hawkins recognized Evans' picture in the rogues gallery and police arrested the man. Detective Clifford Carr testified Evans has been arrested a number of times on larceny charges.

805
Cooper Street

Camden Courier-Post
June 25, 1933

Addresses below reported in the 1947 City Directory
  801
Cooper Street

1947
Dr. Joel B. Cunningham

  805
Cooper Street

1947
Dr. David L. Andrus

807 Cooper Street

1919
Frederick Himmelein & Family

Philadelphia Inquirer
June 22, 1919

Razed in early 1920s. 
The Elks building was erected
on this site in May of 1926

  807 Cooper Street

1926-1947

Camden Lodge 293
Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks

810 Cooper Street

1910
Charles S. Elfreth

811 Cooper Street

1955
Holl Funeral Service
Arthur H. Holl & Earl B. Holl

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

e

  813 Cooper Street
  814
Cooper Street

Esso Servicemaster
Gas Station

  815 Cooper Street
817
Cooper Street

1955
Camden Credit Association
Credit Bureau Reports Inc.

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

  817
Cooper Street

Electrolux Vacuum Cleaners

  819
Cooper Street

Harry A. Louderbach
Real Estate

  821
Cooper Street

Mrs. Edna Knehr
Harry J. Mitchell
1947
Charles J. Ball
1947-1950

  823 Cooper Street
  825 Cooper Street
  827 Cooper Street
  829 Cooper Street
  831 Cooper Street
  833 Cooper Street
  835 Cooper Street
Addresses below reported in the 1947 City Directory
  840 Cooper Street

1920s-1955
R.M. Hollingshead Corporation


900 Block of Cooper Street
Built by 1887
900 Cooper Street

All the even-numbered homes in the 900 block of Cooper Street were destroyed on July 30, 1940 when the R.M. Hollingshead factory was destroyed by an explosion and fire on July 30, 1940.

Click on Image to Enlarge

  901 Cooper Street

Dr. William Moslander
1900s-1910s
Mrs. Anna Moslander
1910s-late 1940s

  902 Cooper Street

Murray L. Serotikin
1933

  909 Cooper Street

George W. Whyte
1910s-1930s

914 Cooper Street

1940 John "Pete" Brecker
Mr. & Mrs. Brecker
Kathryn Simon

Picture taken in the aftermath of the Hollingshead fire. Camden Police Detectives Vernon Jones (Left) and George Weber (center) return  jewelry and cash recovered from home to Miss Simon, sister of Mrs. Brecker.

Click on Image to enlarge

920 Cooper Street

1955-1957
Arrow Garage

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

 

920 Cooper Street

Camden Courier-Post
December 12, 1957

921 Cooper Street

Joseph E. Nowrey Sr.
1910s-1930s

Mrs. Chester D. VanDuyn, of 924 Cooper Street, is spending some time with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lane, of this city, at their cottage in Pitman. Mrs. VanDuyn's daughter, Miss Catharine S. VanDuyn, is spending this weekend in Washington, D. C . 

924 Cooper Street

1930 Mrs. Chester D. Van Duyn

Camden Courier-Post
June 12, 1933

WILLIAM DICKINSON

William Dickinson, 68, of 931 Cooper Street died today in Cooper Hospital. A lifelong resident of Camden, he had operated a garage and automobile repair business for the past 50 years.

Surviving are his wife, Lena H.; two daughters, Mrs. Elizabeth Heller, of Clementon; Miss Mary Dickinson, of Camden; a sister, Miss Marie Dickinson, of Philadelphia, and two grandchildren.

Services will be held at 11 a. m. Saturday in the Murray Funeral Home, 408 Cooper Street. Burial will be in Harleigh Cemetery. There will be no viewing.

931 Cooper Street

1924-1958 William Dickinson

William & Mgdalene Dickinson
Elizabeth Dickinson
Mary Dickinson
Marie Dickinson

Camden Courier-Post
February 14, 1958

 

Students Return To Spend Summer Vacation Home

Leon F. Rittenhouse of 1557 Bradley Avenue, is leaving today for California, where he will continue his study of medicine. Mr. Rittenhouse was a graduate from Washington Missionary College, in the national capital on Monday. 

Two of the Wilfred W. Frys' children were graduated at schools in New York and Massachusetts, this past weekend and today. Tonight Miss Eleanor Fry will be graduated from the Emma Willard School at Troy, New York Last week Wilfred W. Fry, II, was graduated from Mt. Hermon School, Mt. Hermon, Massachusetts. 

Henry J. Bowes Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. Bowes of Merchantville, spent last week in Annapolis, Maryland, where he took entrance examinations for the United States Naval Academy. He was graduated last week from Valley Forge Military Academy, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. 

Miss Helen Pratt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Byron Pratt of 213 North Fourth Street, has returned from Bucknell University for the Summer.

Miss Eleanor Holman of 108 North Fourth Street and Miss Betty Dickinson of 931 Cooper Street, have returned to their respective homes for the Summer. They are attending Syracuse University. 

Miss Frances Snyder of 331 North Forty-first street, was graduated at Syracuse this month.

931 Cooper Street

1933 Elizabeth "Betty" Dickinson

Camden Courier-Post
June 12, 1933

Miss Dickinson, Leighton Heller In Engagement

Mr. and Mrs. William Dickinson, of 931 Cooper Street, announce the engagement of their daughter, Miss M. Elizabeth Dickinson, to Mr. Leighton J. Heller, son of Mr. and Mrs. James L. Heller, of 50 Fulton Avenue, Clementon.

Miss Dickinson was graduated from Syracuse University and is a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. She was formerly a member of the faculty at Camden High School. Mr. Heller is a graduate of Dickinson College and Law School and is a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. He recently received an honorable discharge from the U. S. Army after serving for two and one-half years in India.

931 Cooper Street

1945 Betty Dickinson

Camden Courier-Post
August 15, 1945

  932 Cooper Street

1933 Alfred Shaefer

933 Cooper Street

1910
Charles S. Elfreth

HARRY A. WILLE

Funeral services will be held at 11 a. m. Monday for Harry A. Wille, 55, of 933 Cooper Street, who died yesterday after a short illness. Burial will be in Harleigh Cemetery. Mr. Wille, who was born here, was employed in the upholstery department of the J. B. Van Sciver Co.. He is survived by his widow, Ida, and a son, Henry C. Wille, 3rd, of Camden..

933 Cooper Street

1920s-1933 Harry Wille
1933-1947 Mrs. Ida Wille
1920s-1960s Henry C. Willie 3rd

attorney

Camden Courier-Post
February 5, 1933

  934 Cooper Street

J. Willard Morgan
1870s-1880s
J. Eugene Troth
Lawyer
1880s-1890s

MICHAEL BENSON

The funeral of Michael Benson, 52, of' 939 Cooper Street, who died Tuesday, will be held at 8 a. m. Saturday, at 2850 Federal street. Mass will be held at 9 a. m., at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Burial will be in Calvary cemetery. Mr. Benson is survived by a sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Sidell, with whom, he lived, and a brother. He was a son of the late Joseph and Elizabeth Benson..

939 Cooper Street

1933 Michael Benson
1933 Mrs. Elizabeth Sidell

Camden Courier-Post
February 3, 1933

  941 Cooper Street

1955
Joseph R. Hendricks
cleaners

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Listing

  943 Cooper Street

Bethany Methodist Episcopal
 Church

1880s-late 1940s

 


1000 Block of Cooper Street
Built by 1887
1014
Cooper Street

Furnished Rooms

Camden Courier-Post
June 7, 1933

  1016
Cooper Street

Technical Sergeant
Peter D. Wright
1930s-1940s

Mrs. Thomas P. McConaghy, of Tenth and Cooper Streets, this city, is registered at Chalfonte-Haddon Hall, Atlantic City. 

1017
Cooper Street

Dr. Thomas P. McConaghy
1920s-1930s

Camden Courier-Post
June 10, 1933

  1027
Cooper Street
1028
Cooper Street

1903-1904 Louis DeLisle & Family

New York Times
January 2, 1904

  1029 Cooper Street

1903-1904 Edward Rice

1030 Cooper Street

1906
William Knight

Philadelphia Inquirer
January 8, 1907

  1033
Cooper Street

George M. Beringer Jr.
George M. Beringer III
1920s-1930s

1035
Cooper Street

1933 Norfleet Saunders

Camden Courier-Post
June 9, 1933

  1045
Cooper Street

Charles J. Ball
1920s-1930s

  1046
Cooper Street

Edmund Tydeman Family
Vincent A. Tydeman
1887-1888

1046
Cooper Street

Furnished Rooms

Camden Courier-Post
June 7, 1933

  1046
Cooper Street

1947
Mrs. Elizabeth Gosling Mahoney

My Father, Harry Molotsky, had a grocery store called  Harry's Red Front Market at 1048 Cooper Street. I am not sure what year he purchased the property, but it was in the 1940s.  I was born in 1945 and my brother, Allan, in 1948.  We lived behind the store until 1951 when we moved to East Camden at 420 South 30th Street.

My father kept the business until the early 1960's when he had cataract surgery and the state took the property. Dad then worked for Two Guys in the deli department for  many years before retiring. It was nice that he had normal working hours.  My parents started taking vacations which they had not been able to do before.

My father had a young man delivering groceries by bicycle. He let people buy groceries on credit.  We never had to go grocery shopping as he always took home necessities and treats from the store.  Since we kept kosher, we had to get our meat from the kosher butcher even though my father sold meat. He always had a butcher whose name was Warren Peaches.  His son taught me how to drive.

Father's parents had a grocery store at 6th and Elm Street. My aunt and uncle, Sam and Esther, had a grocery at 9th and Pearl if I remember correctly.  A cousin of my dad, Abe Molotsky had a dry goods store, but I can't remember the location (442-444 North 8th Street- PMC).  

Lois Cohen, October 2007

1048
Cooper Street

Harry's Red Front Market
Harry Molotsky
meats
1940s-1960s


1100 Block of Cooper Street
Built by 1887
1108 Cooper Street

1922
David Batchelor & Family
David & Blanche Batchelor

Philadelphia Inquirer
October 7, 1922

1117
Cooper Street

Private Anthony J. Flemming
1920s-1930s

  1124 Cooper Street

1929 Felisher & Rosa Beasley
1929 John Beasley
1929 Walter Beasley

1124 Cooper Street

1897-1898
Benjamin Middleton

1124 Cooper Street

1924
Charles Gladney

1126
Cooper Street

1947-1957 Robert Booker

Camden Courier-Post
December 19, 1957

  1127
Cooper Street

John Sylvester Kellum
1880s

  1127
Cooper Street

George R. Serfling Sr.
1900s-1920s

  1140
Cooper Street

George R. Serfling Sr.
1890s-1900s
Clinton Gilchrist
Confectioner
1947

1143
Cooper Street

Wilson's Daily Express

New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory
1936

  1143
Cooper Street

1947 No Listing

  1144
Cooper Street

Clinton Gilchrist
residence
1947

1144
Cooper Street

1961
Luther H. Collier

  1145
Cooper Street

Ray R. Adams
truckdriver
1920s - late 1940s

1152 Cooper Street

1899 Howard Snyder

Philadelphia Inquirer
November 12,1889

Click on Image to Enlarge

'NUMBERS' SUSPECT FREED IN $100 BAIL

Suspected by the police of being a "numbers' writer, Clinton Gilchrist, 25, colored, of 1153 Cooper Street, was held in $100 bail by Acting Police Judge James Smith yesterday for a further hearing next Tuesday.

Gilchrist who is charged with operating a "numbers" lottery was arrested Thursday in an automobile at Eleventh and Cooper streets by Detective Lieutenant Louis Shaw and Detective Clarence Arthur.

In Gilchrist's possession, the detectives say they found some "numbers" slips and "loose coins."

1153
Cooper Street

Clinton Gilchrist

Camden Courier-Post
February 4, 1933

1161 Cooper Street

1910s-1930s
William H. Johnson & Family
Robert Burk Johnson

  1163 Cooper Street

1870s-1906
John Hibbert & Family
John & Elizabeth Hibbert
William Hibbert

1163 Cooper Street

1955
Wire & Metal Products Inc.

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

  1169 Cooper Street

Edward Richards
Tires
1947

1171 Cooper Street

1947-1955
Towmotor Corporation
forklifts

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad



1900 Block of Cooper Street
Built by 1887
  1987
Cooper Street

1924 Thomas Fitzpatrick
Razed by April 1930

  1988
Cooper Street

1924 Frank R. Ware
1933 The Olsen family

1947 Samuel R. & Elsie Sailer

  1989
Cooper Street

Razed by April 1930

  1991
Cooper Street

1924 John J. McGinnis
Razed by April 1930

  1993
Cooper Street

1924 John Koehler
Razed by April 1930

  1995
Cooper Street

1924 Mrs. Sophie Beck
1924 Mrs. Madeline Pearce
Razed by April 1930

  1997
Cooper Street

1924 Mrs. Lulu Nellett
Razed by April 1930

  1999
Cooper Street

1910s-1920s W.W. Ross
1924 Theron C. Nellett
1920s-1920s
Everett W. Staley

1999
Cooper Street

1955-1990s
United Fabricators Company

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

1999
Cooper Street

1955-1990s
United Fabricators Company

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

Click on Image to Enlarge

1999
Cooper Street

1955-1990s
United Fabricators Company

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

Click on Image to Enlarge

   

2000 Block of Cooper Street
Built by 1887
2000 Cooper Street

1933-1959
George Ware & Family
George B. & Laura Ware
George V. Ware

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

  2002
Cooper Street

1933 Sam & Minnie Wishnaff 
1947 Mrs. Minnie Wishnaff 

1947 Edward Kavlick

  2004
Cooper Street

Private Edward F. Murtaugh

  2004
Cooper Street

1924 John J. Murtaugh
1933-1947
Edward S. & Nellie Harding
wool washer

  2006
Cooper Street

Private Norman W. Wohlken

  2006
Cooper Street

1933 Norman & Agnes Stinger
1947
Mrs. Bessie A. Hans
1947 James Hans

  2008
Cooper Street

1933 Ray Lentz

  2008
Cooper Street

1947 John J. & Anna Greenwich Family
Betty Greenwich
Catherine M. Greenwich
John J., Betty, and Catherine all employed at
J. Eavenson & Sons

  2010
Cooper Street

1894-1895 John H. Anderson
1933
Lou & Catherine Simpson
1947
John T. & Frances Smith

  2012
Cooper Street

1933-1947 William B. & Pearl C. Read

2014
Cooper Street

John Lemmons
1920s
Camden Courier-Post
February 16, 1928

  2014
Cooper Street

1933 Mr. & Mrs. Owens
Johnny Owens    

  2014
Cooper Street

Sgt. Angelo Frank Derago

  2014
Cooper Street

1947 Antonio & Margaret Derago
1947 Robert Derago

  2016
Cooper Street

1933-1947 Albert S. & Viola A. Ruebeck

  2018
Cooper Street

1933 Anna Miller & her mother
1947
James & Mary Elward

  2020
Cooper Street

1933 Herb & Molly MacIntosh     

  2020
Cooper Street

1947 John & Helen Lemayski Family

Mr. & Mrs. Lemayski had three sons, John, Robert, and Stan. Robert & Stan Lemayski both were career Camden Police officers, as was a cousin, Richard Pierznik. Son John Lemayski retired from Riverview Towers on Mickle Boulevard. 

  2022
Cooper Street

1933-1947George & Bertha Hanley
daughters Anita, Catherine "Cass", and Estella

2024
Cooper Street

1906-1910s Melvin & Nettie Gleason
1906 Stewart Gleason
1906-1910s
Lester A. Gleason

1930s Tom & Dorothy Agin Family
Tom and Dorothy Agin
Tom Jr., Harriet, Arthur, & Floyd Agin

1947 Theo T. & Margaret Stone


Journalist Will Paul wrote an article around 1940 about growing up on Cooper Street in the 1880s. Be sure to read his Memories of Old Cooper Street.


Tom Agin and his sister Harriet Lynne Agin Stuhltrager have shared some East Camden Cooper Street memories and photos with me. Click here for a few notes about the "other" Cooper Street. 


2000 Block of Cooper Street
Side view looking West from across State Street - late 1970s
Photos by Floyd Agin

The grocery store at 53 East State Street
Known as Handleton's 1930s-1960s
2024 Cooper Street is at right, 
in the background
2000 Block Cooper Street
as seen from East State Street
2024 and 2022 Cooper Street 2000 Block Cooper Street
as seen from North 20th Street
Click on Images to Enlarge

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Tom Agin and his sister, Harriet Lynne Agin Stuhltrager e-mailed me a few memories of growing up on Cooper Street in East Camden, a street that most people aren't even aware of. 

If you have any comments, corrections, or photographs that you would like me to add, PLEASE e-mail me. Like everything else on www.dvrbs.com, this page is a work in progress.

Phil Cohen
 Camden NJ
September 2003

Cooper Street
Looking West from East State Street -
October 1, 2003
The first house on left is 2024 Cooper Street - the home of the Agin family during the 1930s

Tom Agin's Cooper Street Memories

When I  first lived on Cooper Street it was 2 blocks long and unpaved. It was covered with black slag. At the end of the street there began a huge empty lot of many acres that had pure yellow sand just like  an ocean beach . Nowhere else in the area was there anything like it. It was bounded by 19th Street, Federal Street  the railroad and the Haddon Bindery.

The Haddon Bindery is memorable for two reasons. One is that it supplied me with broken wooden skids which  we used for heat and cooking. And the linotypists would give us kids lead slugs which we converted into lead soldiers. Just beyond the Haddon Bindery was the Mumsey Candy Factory which was always good for a handout.

I enjoyed reading [on www.dvrbs.com] about Warren Buck. For years I thought perhaps he was a figment of my imagination since  no one else seems to have heard of him.

I grew up on little Cooper Street just a few blocks from Buck's menagerie. I never heard of Stockton Park. We merely crossed Federal Street at 19th to what was referred to in my neighborhood as Hell's Half Acre, namely Carman Street and environs. Then about a half mile up a dirt road to where only two large  houses stood. One was the Fitzpatrick house and the other was Warren Buck's. Like most people I thought he was Frank Buck's brother. It was great to see the animals- gorillas, pythons, and everything in between. Spreading rumors to the women of the neighborhood that this or that animal had escaped was great sport. 

A little further up the road was the swamp and city dump. Beyond that was the world's first Drive-In Movie. We would stop at the swamp and cut cattails to take to the movie where we would light them to keep the mosquitoes away. Since we kids couldn't afford to go in we would sit out on a small rise that gave us a perfect view of the screen. Sound was no problem since they had large loud speakers mounted on poles around the periphery, in-car speakers had yet to be invented. Also, I remember a Dog Race Track at Airport Circle that no one else seems to recall.

Thinking back to the 30's there were horses in the neighborhood every day. The milkman, breadman, iceman, the ragmen collecting junk, even at times coal was delivered this way. There was even a miniature circus wagon pulled by a pony from which the guy sold waffles made on a gasoline stove on board. I can't remember ever having a nickel to buy one but we kids enjoyed seeing them all the same. As each horse drove through we kids would run all over and pull grass to feed them.

I don't know anyone who grew up in East Camden that doesn't have fond memories of those times.

Harriet Lynne Agin Stuhltrager's Cooper Street Memories

 I attended St. Joseph's. My brothers attended Dudley School, as did my playmates. They often spoke of their teachers.  One in particular  was a Miss Little. If I am correct Miss Little taught 6th grade at the time. She taught them a song called, "When I Grow Too Old To Dream, (I'll have you to remember)".  My friend sang the song to me so much.  I loved it. The reason I mention it is; she is the one who learned it but I was the one who loved and always remembered it, along with Miss Little whom I  never knew.

I guess one of my earliest recollections is walking to school and crossing 21st and Federal Street.  Right on the corner we kids would stop and look in as the Blacksmith worked on the horse's shoes.  I can still see the man's helmet which came down over his eyes to protect them from the flying sparks as he worked on the horses' shoes. I never knew the name of the place

I walked past The Black Cat Diner, Bill Grahams Tap Room, then a little candy store came next which sat on the corner. This is 21st. Across the small street on the corner sat the blacksmith. 21st did not run on the south side of Federal Street. On the other side of Federal Street across from the blacksmith sat Penn Jersey Auto Store, later a Pep Boys, which sat on the point, as Marlton Pike came in there.

I went to school with and lived next door to Cass Hanley. If two little girls were to roam today the way Cass and I did then-------we would not be here to tell about it and I might add we love most of our memories.

Next door to Cass lived Mr. and Mrs. MacIntosh. Cass & I went to Mr. MacIntosh's funeral. We always remembered it as it was a military honor.  They gave him a 21 gun salute

I would be remiss to share the pictures of the corner house which is 2024 Cooper Street without paying tribute to the "one person" who left its memory a shrine within the hearts of her children.  Our beloved mother, Dorothy Agin. During the Depression, most of the homes on the "other" Cooper Street were owned by a Mrs. Brock. She was a very kind and compassionate lady. My father, Tom Agin, was a "Jack-of-all-trades".  Mrs. Brock engaged him to attend to the maintenance of her properties. In time she sold them to Mrs. Yost.

Of course tenants changed frequently.  More than likely everyone rented.  A few houses had inside bathrooms.  Most had outhouses.  Also there were no furnaces in the cellars.  Most had electric.  We, along with a few others, did not.  In the winter time the stove was on which made cooking ready to prepare.  In the summer the fire had to be made.  First the paper--then the wood . Wow!

The "world came to an end" for us , when in 1940 we were evicted. We then moved to 624 Carman Street, right off of Broadway, not far from the City Hall. My mothers failing health and difficult life ended in May, 1941. Our life as a family had come to a close.

Camden Courier-Post

February 16, 1928

 

Camden Courier-Post - August 1, 1936

More of Tom Agin's Cooper Street Memories

Little Cooper Street :  Hard to believe anyone could be nostalgic about a place like that But it was a helluva lot cleaner and in better repair at the height of the depression, this in spite of the fact that  90% of the residents were on relief. And there were only about two old cars in the whole neighborhood. One was an old Packard, the other a Willys-Overland.

The corner house with the bay windows is 2024.That  was my abode from about 1932 to 1940. 2022 housed the Hanley family`` Then came the MacIntosh's. All the houses on Cooper Street had outdoor privies and no central heating. Heat usually came from pot bellied stoves. Although a few people had gas ranges   most did their cooking on wood stoves. These were not fun for the boys who had to find and chop the wood  nor the women who did the cooking on 100 degree days in July and August. Not all the houses had electricity including mine. Light was by oil lamp.

These were known as the good old days.

The triangular lot across the street was the site of a large two story house that housed the Ryan family until it was condemned and torn down about  1945. 

The other end of the street ,on the one side  had a large vacant lot  and a large frame house. That lot was always vacant. At times during the summer  groups from the WPA used to set up a screen and projector and show films, mostly cartoons and short subjects.

The other side of the street at that point had  about 12  row houses, only two of which I remember being occupied, the first was the  Wallace house and the third housed the Finch boys, a couple of middle aged bachelors with nothing to do but sit on the front step and drink. The remaining ten houses were vacant. About 1936 they all were condemned and razed.


East Camden's Cooper Street about 1933
 

House

Name

Notes

1988

The Olsen Family          

Many others through the years

2000

George B. & Laura Ware

Children Bob, Dorothy & Lorraine

2002

Sam & Minnie Wishnaff 

Josephine

2004

Edward S. & Nellie Harding

 

2006

Norman & Agnes Stinger       

Children
Agnes, Norman, Myrtle & Pearl

2008

Ray Lentz                             

Two little boys 

2010

Lou & Catherine Simpson        

Children Ruth & Louie;
Catherine's mother, everyone called her Aunt Annie)  She baked pies & took them down to the Haddon Press & sold them-  HLAS- 2004

2012

William B. & Pearl C. Read

Children Katie (married) and Bill

2014

Mr. & Mrs. Owens                   

Son Johnny, He had the greatest bicycle ever, Black & Silver

2016

Albert S. & Viola A. Ruebeck

 

2018

Anna Miller & her mother

 

2020

Herb & Molly MacIntosh     

Veteran of World War I, 
Assembler at a radio factory in 1930. 

2022

George & Bertha Hanley

Daughters Anita & Catherine "Cass"

2024

Tom & Dorothy Agin            

Children 
Tom Jr., Harriet, Arthur, & Floyd

 


East Camden's Cooper Street in 1947
 

House

Name

Notes

1988

Samuel R. & Elsie Sailer

 

2000

George B. Ware

1959 - George V. Ware, Paperhanger

2002

Mrs. Minnie Wishnaff 

Widow of Samuel Wishnaff

2004

Edward S. & Nellie Harding

Wool Washer

2006

Mrs. Bessie A. Hans

Widow of Albert Hans

 

James Hans

Packer

2008

John J. & Anna Greenwich

Employed at J. Eavenson & Sons

 

Betty Greenwich

Employed at J. Eavenson & Sons

 

Catherine M. Greenwich

Employed at J. Eavenson & Sons

2010

John T. & Frances Smith

 

2012

William B. & Pearl C. Read

Operator at East End Laundry

2014

Antonio & Margaret Derago

Trackman for the Pennsylvania Railroad

 

Robert Derago

 

2016

Albert S. & Viola A. Ruebeck

 

2018

James & Mary Elward

 

2020

John & Helen Lemayski 

Mr. & Mrs. Lemayski had three sons, John, Robert, and Stan. Robert & Stan Lemayski both were career Camden Police officers, as was a cousin, Richard Pierznik. Son John Lemayski retired from Riverview Towers on Mickle Boulevard. 

2022

George & Bertha Hanley

Watchman

 

Anita Hanley

Telephone Operator

 

Estella Hanley

Telephone Operator

2024

Theo T. & Margaret Stone

 

Only George Ware was still on the block in 1959, according to the 1959 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory. Of course it must me noted that not everyone may have had a telephone.

I can’t  help smiling when I read such tales of woe as “Heating with Coal”. Did everyone but me have central heating back in the 30’s?

Although it must have been fun to be able to spy  on those downstairs through the ceiling grates, it must have  been wonderful to feel the warm air  rising into your freezing bedroom on a cold winters night. Most houses with central heating ,which you didn't use in the summer, came equipped with a gas range for cooking and most houses with gas had a water heater. Central heat  via a furnace also meant the ability to pay for coal by the ton  which few if any on little Cooper Street could even dream of.

Life on the other side of the tracks:

Coal was a luxury to be bought only when it was absolutely necessary and  then only in 50 lb bags. Blue coal or pea or nut  or even coke ,it didn't matter on any particular day, except which happened to be cheapest.

I would   take my little wagon up to the Pavonia Ice and Coal Co. at  23rd and Howell Streets when we had the money and struggle with  a bag I could hardly lift then haul it back home and try to carry it into the house. This was our secondary source of coal. At other times, which I hated, I would be ordered to take a bucket and walk the railroad tracks to find coal that had fallen off coal cars. This also meant playing hide and seek with the railroad police, who were not the friendliest people in the world. At that age it didn't dawn on me that they were looking out for my safety as well as protecting railroad property.

My route for coal scavenging usually ranged from behind the Haddon Press down to behind Dimedio Lime, Dubell Lumber and Concrete Steel Co. On a bad day I would have to continue all the way beyond Warren Webster's to the Standard Oil place at Federal Street and River Road to fill my bucket after which it was a heavy trip back to Cooper Street. 

Our heating system at home consisted of a large wood/coal cooking range in the kitchen which was jet black and had shiny nickel plated parts hanging on it. I also had the job of polishing this stove which was done while it was very hot using a liquid consisting of an oil and carbon black dispersion. You rubbed this on with a  cloth and it smoked like a volcano and you continued rubbing until it was dry and shiny black, and so were you.

This stove was used for cooking and heating water. There was only one faucet in the house and it was ice cold water. This is why in those days there was a Saturday bath, you didn't shower a couple times a day even if you wanted to. There was no hot water and no shower. Bathing was done in the galvanized laundry tub. During the week you washed your face and hands. 

Picture a woman's life during this period:

Throughout the hottest time of the year she always needed a fire. To cook, to have water for the wash and  to heat the iron for ironing. The wash was done on a wash board which most women today have seen only in museums. It was backbreaking labor.... and let’s not forget my sister's hair which also required a fire. With no electricity how else do you heat a curling iron?

There were two kinds of curling irons I remember  my mother using. One was called a Marcelle Iron and this made waves. The other was a curling iron much like those used today, except that they weren't heated with electricity. Then how were they heated?? Glad you asked.

The irons were held in the fire until they were hot. Then they were taken out and closed on a piece of paper, preferably a brown paper bag. This would smoke, turn black and sometimes erupt into flame. You would continue testing it  until it no longer discolored the paper. At this point you would then proceed to  put the hair in and roll it up as you do today. After a few minutes you would unroll it and hope the hair didn't stay with the iron. Sound like fun?? I have a curling iron for you to try, if you are so inclined.

Ironing clothes on a 100 degree day was not fun either. Or any other day for that matter. 

During the summer months we used wood  which meant you could allow the fire to go out when it wasn't needed. The wood was usually scavenged by me from old shipping skids. These could be obtained from the Haddon Press and a few other businesses by hook or crook. Usually the latter. Many commodities in those days were shipped in wooden barrels. These were usually made of gum wood which was difficult to chop. The ax jumped back at you as if it had hid a block of rubber.

Women today say they are overworked because one day a week that may have to DRIVE Johnny to Little League.

That takes care of the kitchen.

There was a pot bellied stove in the parlor which was seldom used at all. Parlors were generally used for special visitors or which happened, it seems , all to often in those days, wakes.

Next comes the pot bellied stove in the dining room which was where we lived. This room served as living room, dining room and family room. This stove was our primary source of warmth throughout the winter months. This stove was not large but it kept the room comfortable. 

What about the bedrooms? There was zero heat except what your body generated and the quilts managed to hold next to you. The kitchen stove didn't help because the kitchen was a separate room attached to the rear  of the house.

As mentioned before the parlor stove wasn't used for general heating. Because of the size and limited utility of the dining room stove there was no ceiling grate to allow heat to rise to the upstairs…which would result in cooling the down stairs.

I remember one occasion where I didn't think it was warm enough and being home alone I proceeded to remedy that situation. I filled the dining room stove with coke, which was all we had on hand that day. Then I opened the damper all the way which I had seen my father do. In a short period of time the pot belly was glowing red. Soon after the  stove pipe started to get red and the red rose higher and higher and I  became more and more scared not knowing what to do about it.

The red was within three feet of the ceiling when my father walked in the door. In a short time he had the stove under control. As the stove returned to its normal black my bottom became redder and redder. I had doubts I would ever sit again.

This is the way life went on in the  good old days.... and they really were the good old days. Ask anyone who grew up during that period. You may get a different answer if  you ask those who were unemployed adults during this time.  It’s all in your perspective.

                                                                           Regards

Tom Agin
December 18, 2004

2000 Block of Cooper Street
Side view looking West from across State Street - late 1970s
Photos by Floyd Agin
The grocery store at 53 East State Street
Known as Handleton's 1930s-1960s
2024 Cooper Street is at right, 
in the background
2000 Block Cooper Street
as seen from East State Street
2024 and 2022 Cooper Street 2000 Block Cooper Street
as seen from North 20th Street
Click on Images to Enlarge