Historic Places in South Jersey

Historic Places in South Jersey - Places to Go and Things to Do

A discussion of things to do and paces to go, with the purpose of sharing, and encouraging exploration of South Jersey.

Friday, February 13, 2015


I find inspiration for  blog posts in many places, often the same places where I find hints for the next places to visit.  This time, I was reading the Greater Elmer Area Historical Society magazine, which I got for free at Friends Village in Woodstown, on Tuesday during the lecture on Wistarburgh Glass Works.

The article I was reading was about small town grocery stores which have great appeal to me for many reasons.  One reason is than an ancestor of mine, William C. Garwood (born 1818) was a storekeeper at the Turner Store in Turnersville. in the mid 1800's.  He was also a postmaster and a teacher (like me - teacher that is, not postmaster).  Also, when I was a child, the corner store was the first place a little kid could go without a parent and actually conduct your own business, which was to buy penny candy. 

We would stand before the glass case with its mind boggling array of small candies trying to decide which 5 to buy or whether to splurge on a 2 penny candy.  My favorites were a little pie tin and tiny spoon with a chocolate fudge concoction in it.  Also, I loved the little wax bottles that you bit the necks off to suck out the sweet liquid inside.  Third place were "Dots" - tiny button sized dots of candy on a long strip of white paper like the paper in an adding machine.  Other kids liked red peppery jelly fish, but they never appealed to me.

Anyhow, when you were old enough to be trusted, your mom could send you to the corner store, (ours was called "Sam's") for something she needed for dinner, or for lunch meat.  You had a white paper note with the money folded in it or you asked Sam to put it "on the book" where it would sit in trust till pay day.  I can still remember the smell of the pickles in the barrel and the rye bread.  And the fascination of the long 'grabber' - the tool the grocer used to get boxes off the upper shelves.  It was a long broom handle with a grabber on the end operated by wires and a grip. 

So, now that I've read the beautifully written and detailed article about the grocery stores of Elmer, I want to go and see the buildings that still stand and then get a coffee at the Talk of the Town, Coffee Shoppe, 119 South Main Street, Elmer.  Also, I'd like to stop in the Elmer Times Co. and browse their books for sale. 

Often I write about places I've already visited and give reviews, but here is one about a place I have yet to see.  Maybe I'll run into you there!  But it won't be tomorrow.  Three friends and I are having lunch at The Robin's Nest in Mt. Holly vor Valentine's Day.

Hope you Have a Happy Valentine's Day!
Jo Ann

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