I first posted about “The Book” on the forum back in 2003. If you haven’t heard about “The Book” it was written by LeBart Beck and covers some history of Three Rivers during the 20’s and 30’s.
The entire book can be read online here. I have also pasted a couple of samples from the Book to give you the flavor.
I remember that the old timers had different names for the Wards of the City. The First Ward was called Three Rivers, Second Ward was Lockport, Third Ward was Canada and Fourth Ward was Brooklyn. I am sure that there was reasoning behind all of this, but I never made an effort to find out what it was. I, as well as most of the other kids, were more concerned with a little saying that we had. It went:
First Ward Sissies
Second Ward Tuffs
Third Ward Cherry Pits
Fourth Ward Bluffs
Now the kids in the First Ward were not really sissies, nor were the Third Warders Cherry Pits, but the Second Warders were Tuffs and the Fourth Warders were definitely Bluffs.
I think that the reason the First Ward kids were called Sissies was because the rest of us thought that they thought they were better than the rest of us. This was not the case, I know, but it was a fact that the most of the “RICH” kids, in town, lived in the First Ward. They had their own baseball gloves and their catcher had his own face mask. Sometimes, when we played them, they would bring two bats to the game. In our case, if the kid, who owned the bat, didn’t show up, for the game, we wouldn’t even have one bat.
Times sure have changed…
In the 1920’s there were several neighborhood stores, in Three Rivers. Let me name the ones that I can think of. There was Phillips, on East Michigan (Third Avenue), east of the High School, on the opposite side of the street. There was Nick Blass’, on the east side of Eighth Street, south of the railroad, Cliff Maystead’s on Broadway near the Paper Mill, Mike Black’s on Third Street, also near the Paper Mill. Wellington’s was on the southeast corner of Broadway and Constantine Street. There was one on Fourth Street North of Broadway, but I don’t remember who operated it. DalPonte’s was on the corner of South Main (Sixth Street) and Pearl Street. There was one on Constantine Street that was later operated by Gene Ferrarotti. There was one on West Michigan, later operated by Lyle and Margurite Ferguson and still later by Frank DalPonte. There was one on Walnut Street that was operated by Floyd Havens and then there was the one on Hoffman Street, west of North Main. There were probably others, but I don’t think of them, right now.