DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE — Pictured is the south side of Main Street in Hamburg on Memorial Day in 1928. The photo is a contribution from the historian’s files.
HAMBURG — While there have been many changes on Main Street in the village of Hamburg since the days of this parade in 1928, at least half of these buildings are still in use, today. In most cases, different entities occupy the facades. The 1928 businesses and their modern descendents are listed, beginning at the right and moving to the east.
The Hamburg Garage was, for many years, converted to an office for Pierce & Cash and is now occupied by a Catholic Charities office. In the 1960s, the building was also home to Smith Hardware and Sattler’s Department Store.
The building with the radio sign is now the Posh Shoppe Boutique and the old dining car property, which was home to the Bright Spot Diner for many years, is now the Coyote Cafe.
The next large wood frame building was the Kloepfer Hotel, with the Hamburg Beauty Shoppe’s taking up space on the ground floor. The building was destroyed by fire in 1954 and, in the years following, the property was occupied by several other entities, including Kaufman Photo, H&R Block and Benz-Sardinia & Fahey. Today, the lot is home to the August Bar & Bistro. The smaller brick building included a village barber shop. The business operator during that period is unknown; local early barbers on Main Street in the village included Al Stock, Cecil Bruce and Palmer’s Barber Shop.
By 1960, 33 barbers in 16 barber shops worked in the village. That building is now occupied by the Hess Brothers Florists.
Moving east, the next structure was home to Froehley’s furniture and undertaking business. It also had, for many years, been occupied by the Hamburg Grange. Froehley’s occupied the first and second floors, while the grange was on the third floor. Prior to being called the Grange Building, the location was known as the Salisbury Building.
The structure was damaged in a 1923 fire and is now home to Tina’s Italian Kitchen.
The small, brick building to the left of the grange was occupied by Gueting’s Clothing Store, when this photo was taken. It was also home to several other businesses, during the years, and is now the Villarni Law office, at 16 Main St.
Moving east, next to the Gueting structure, is now the Kronenberg Hardware Store. This building has recently been renovated and now houses the Salon Savvi on the ground floor at 12 Main St.
The taller building next to Kronenberg’s Hardware Store, on the southwest corner of Main and Buffalo streets, was the Eckhardt Hotel, which was damaged by fire in 1883, rebuilt and then changed into the furniture store. The building was closed in 1961 and then became Winsick’s Town & Country Furniture. The building again caught fire in 1972, this time becoming destroyed. Today, the corner lot remains vacant.
The last building shown in this photo was across the road, on the southeast corner of Main and Buffalo streets. This was occupied by the Hamburg Hotel. The building, which was once called the Lafayette Hotel, was destroyed by fire in 1967.
The man in the dark suit, leading the Memorial Day parade, is Art Howe, a longtime teacher and coach at Hamburg High School. The Howe Athletic Complex is named for this individual.
The police officer on the motorcycle to the left is Maurice Mansfield, whose service on the local police department dated back to 1923.
This column is written by Hamburg Town Historian Jim Baker. Individuals’ wanting to submit photographs and/or materials can call Baker at the Hamburg Town Hall on either Wednesday or Thursday, between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., at 649-6111 ext. 2400. Write to The Sun at 141 Buffalo St., Hamburg, NY 14075.