A quick walk through of block 11, lots 7-12

By: 
Hannah Gross

Photo courtesy of Leonard Cash

A historical photo of downtown Newcastle.

 

Hannah Gross

NLJ Correspondent 

With Leonard Cash, historian

 

To wrap up the “History on Main” series, Cash wanted to go over a brief summary of block 11 on Main Street. We began this walk-through last week and ended on lot 6, so we pick up where we left off on lot 7, which was originally owned by Frank Mondell, according to courthouse files. 

The lot went through several owners, home to both a bar and the Edison Theater. In 1922, it became the home of W.H. Coles Commercial Co., who bought it from Thoeming. Coles offered hardware, general merchandise and automobiles. Around December 1928, Sedgwick Hardware and Supply Co. moved in before Culver Enterprise took it over in 1948, according to courthouse files. They went out of business around 1955, according to the local newspaper, but it later reopened on West Main. 

Culver Enterprises sold the property to Carl Kuemmerle for Post No. 2516 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1974, who in turn sold it to Donald and Judith Arensmeyer in 1987. Cash said they had a clothing store. After Arensmeyer died, several businesses moved in and out of the building. 

On lot 8, August Buttner opened a meat market, grocery and drug store in 1906. However, in 1940, Rodney M. Guthrie, who was the guardian of the estate due to Buttner being “insane,” sold it to Minnie Shoemaker. But she turned it over to George Culver six years later. Culver Enterprises owned lots 7 through 9. 

In 1949, the building became a restaurant, according to newspaper records. In 1972, lots 8 and 9 were sold to Loretta Moser, who sold it to Joseph Thaler. He turned it over to Frances B. Rossman, according to courthouse files. Rossman also bought several of the following lots.

Now, we come to lots 9 and 10. The history of these lots overlap at certain times because some businesses resided in both. Lot 9 is most well known as home to the Bronco Bar. Louise Faehndrich, who owned the property in 1895, sold it to Frank Mondell in 1900. It went through several owners, but in 1907, Louie Menghin opened the Weston County Saloon on lots 9 and 10, and it was there for a number of years. In 1917, W.H. Coles Commercial Co. moved in until 1929, when it became Sedgwick Hardware and Supply Co. There was also a soft drink parlor in that location around 1919. 

D.G. Ellenwood leased the building in 1941, and then Charles M. Grieves Jr. opened a retail liquor store the following year. Around the same time, Royal Café and Lounge opened up, but it was turned over to Black Hills Café in 1953, which operated from there for several years. In 1948, Culver’s Enterprise was there in 1948 (but during this time they also leased it to several other businesses), and according to courthouse records, Bronco Bar moved in sometime before 1956. It went through several owners, but Frances B. Rossman was the owner of the building in 1978, and it was still a bar then. Eventually, the T&A Brewery moved in until it was bought by Amanda’s on Main, which is what it is today.

In 1891, Jacob Faehndrich opened a restaurant on lot 10, with a “grand” thanksgiving dinner, according to the local newspapers. In 1906, it was a millinery owned by Miss Nettie and Mrs. LaNove. Newspaper records reveal that it was a soft drink parlor around 1919. 

This is where the history intertwines with lot 9. It became a liquor store for some time and around 1944, it was leased to Royal Café, and then Black Hills Café in 1950. There was a fire in the building in 1946, newspaper records reported, when it was owned by Minnie Shoemaker. It was a café for some time even up in the 1960s, but after that, it was sold several times. However, courthouse files don’t specify what business was there. 

Next, we will take a brief look at lot 11, which was originally owned by Ella Dobson in 1891. It was sold a few times, and in 1907, Judge Nelson had an office there. Although unsure of its start date, newspaper records show that there was a barber shop there until 1918. In 1935, M.W. Geschwender leased it from Mrs. T. Shoemaker for a few years for a liquor store. Shoemaker passed away in 1969, and four years later, Robert Carmine and his wife sold it to Leo and
Genevieve Aimonetto. 

The Aimonettos sold it to Joseph Thaler in 1979, and seven years later, he sold it to Jerry and Sandy Pedulla. Eighteen months later, Andrew and Cynthia Wolfe bought it. Lot 11 was evidently used as a bar because according to newspaper records from Dec. 27, 1979, the Stage Door Bar was sold to new owners. That’s the final documentation in Cash’s records, but today, it is the location of the Edward Jones office. 

That brings us to the final lot on block 11, which was home to the Corner Bar. 

“Lot 12 has been a bar ever since 1890,” Cash said. 

Several people leased it around September 1890: William Bryan leased it for the purpose of building a mercantile, H.J. Wisner and M. Arnold leased a saloon, and Francis Smith planned to open a restaurant and bakery. Bernhard Deetken bought the property in 1891 and sold both lots 11 and 12 to Pete Aimonetto in 1907. In 1935, there was a one-year lease on the lot for a soft drink parlor and wholesale beer business by Frank Vercellono and Ben Zanoni. 

While the owners of the building changed, Vercellono and Zanoni continued renting the building until 1943. The following year, C.M. Hall leased it for a liquor business, and D.O. Gray took it over
in 1947. 

Corner Bar Inc. leased the building in 1951, and they were there until it burnt down around 1999, Cash said. Today, it’s just a parking lot. 

Before finishing, Cash wanted to include a brief story from March 10, 1893, on the building behind where the Corner Bar once stood. A fire destroyed the entire upper part of the alley, and while it didn’t spread to the other buildings, a lady by the name of Mary Miller did not escape the flames. She lost her life and “was burned beyond
recognition.” 

That brings us to the close of our quick wrap up of block 11. Next week, we will have our final installment of “History on Main” with an article on the Chief Hotel.

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