Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ridgewood - Growing Up Around Town!

Ridgewood, NJ - what a wonderful place to grow up! We had great sports programs, afterschool activities, scout troops for girls and boys. The Duck Pond, Halls's Pond & Saddle River for fishing. I probably rode my bike everywhere in town! Who can forget Graydon Pool?

Well, there were indeed lots of "landmarks" growing up in Ridgewood. There's lots of history too! When we weren't attending Glen School our folks would take us in town to church, temple, swimming lessons, the library, saturday "errands" - which in our case included the paper store (which also meant picking up some candy and baseball cards), the cleaners, the liqour store (of course!), Johnnie's Barbershop, Fischl's Bakery, Drapkin's for school supplies and so many other classic stops throughout the years!

This is the section where you'll find pictures of memorable places in town. Some are happily still there and others are sadly gone. As Glen School kids living on the east side of Route 17, we felt like we lived in the "suburbs" of Ridgewood, so when we went "up town or downtown" - depending on the generation you're talking to - it was an adventure! Enjoy!

Click on each picture for larger size.

To this day, the July 4th parade in Ridgewood is long and memorable! It was always quite an event! I remember my sister Ginny driving by in a convertible in the parade in the early 60's! Kids even used to sit atop the marquee of the Stanley-Warner Theater to watch it go by!

Valley Hospital as it looked in the early 1960's!

Remember Arthur's House of Beauty? Not many people would remember the name but they all remember it as the most decorated place in town at Christmastime! It was located at the corner of Franklin and Cottage Place. The structure was torn down to make way for a bank. Perdue's Sport Shop was right near here.

The Stanley-Warner Theater! This was a great place to watch movies as a kid! The balcony was huge and you always caught up with friends there!

The Duck Pond - a place to feed the ducks, fish, have a picnic and then go across the street for ice cream at T&W's!

An aerial view showing what would become George Washington Junior High School - now a middle school.

An aerial view (possibly circa 1968 or so) of Ridgewood High School.

Here's a great shot of Graydon Pool and Vets Fields from the air circa 1960.

Ridgewood Avenue looking toward the tracks on a snowy day circa 1950's.

The famous Christmas tree at the end of Ridgewood Avenue and Broad Street albeit a little smaller. Circa 1960.

A circa 1965 view of Terwilleger's also known as T&W's. Located across from the Duck Pond this was an immensely popular ice cream place - lines would snake out the doors to the parking lot. T&W's and Van Dyke's were the best ice cream places around. I remember always asking my dad to stop on Sunday nights on the way home from family visits - he never said no! Below is an ad from a 1962 Ridgewood directory.

Above is the classic Ridgewood school supply store - "Drapkin's". Located at the end of Ridgewood Ave before the tracks it seemed to have just about everything! Got my baseball cards there and at Lyon's at the other end. Also struggled to get my first Playboy there - you know, stick it between a newspaper so no one would see and the guy at the counter knowing my embarrassment and leaving it between the papers! Drapkin's suffered through 2 major fires but always bounced back.

Here's a view of circa 1964 Ridgewood looking up Ridgewood Ave.

Above is the "Shell" as it is known. Ground was broken in 1957 and the picture above is from the day it was dedicated in 1958. My folks used to watch concerts there - I remember going when I was real little. It's still there today and is located at the far end of Vets Field by the library parking lot.

Always check back as we will always add new photos as we get them!

My sincere thanks to Peggy Norris of the Ridgewood Public Library for many of these photos!


  1. WOW I love your site.. I lived in Ridgewood through the 70's growing up and your pictures of Drapkins, I went to school with his son Adam and Arthurs Beauty was a really exciting aspect of living there. I went to movies at the theatre.. so many memories. Thank you so much for posting these pictures! Crane Family.

  2. Thank you SO MUCH for the wonderful memories! My grandfather was Arthur....His real name was Octavius, but he figured "Arthurs House of Beauty" was a little easier to say. Well, I've got so many great memories of Ridgewood, and that house at Christmas-time....but until I stumbled on your site, no pictures of the house in its Yuletide glory. Thanks again!
    Len Pitzalis

  3. Can't believe I never responded to you Len - I'm so glad you enjoyed the photo! I just got another photo of your grandfather's place which I will add to a follow-up - its Arthur's House of Beauty during the day all decorated!