History on some
business churches and professionals in Brunswick during 40's and 50's
By Fred Brown Class of 1944
Former educator in various capacities during his career
To ask an old geezer English teacher type to
correct spelling is giving him just what his heart always desires....Anyway,
as I recall, there are some changes you might want to make.
Under Grocery Stores, my Aunt Clara spelled her
last name "Calhoun."
Doctors--Dr. William Schnauffer, who later moved
to Frederick into what is now a bed and breakfast on Court Square called
"Spite House," built and operated a hospital at the corner of N. Va. Ave and A
Street (?) Anyway, it was at the top of the hill leading up from what is now
a traffic circle, and is now used as an apartment house, I believe.
Dr. Schnauffer was the brother of West Schnauffer, who operated the garage
you listed. Their uncle was Dr.Levin West, for whom West Schnauffer was
Dr. Thomas G. Strother was an excellent doctor,
but unfortunately was locked up for operating an abortion hospital in rural
Fauquier Co., Va., along with his wife, the former Ruth Howie, one of my
teachers at BHS. Ruth made the cover of Life magazine and was publicly
disgraced--for an operation that is perfectly legal now.
There was another doctor whose main office was in
Lovettsville, but who also had an office in what had been the Schnauffer
Hospital. His name was Thomas Carpenter, and he delivered my first son.
Peoples' Bank was actually called "Peoples'
National Bank," later a part of F & M of Frederick.
Litten Westend was actually Litten Chevrolet
Sales, and my uncle Russell Litten and his brother Bill (who died as a result
of auto accident in 1946) sold Chevrolets and Oldsmobiles and had a service
station, auto repair shop, and auto body shop there. At that time this was
the largest retail operation in Brunswick, and it operated from 1933 until my
uncle sold the business to a fellow from Frederick in 1971.
The Coates night club was called "Coates' Corner,"
and was operated by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Coates.
The Litten bus service, originally running from
Brunswick to Hagerstown to transport war workers to the Fairchild aircraft
plants in Hagerstown, was called "L and L Motor Lines," and was sold several
years after the end of the second World War, (the late 40's or very early 50's
to Harold C Summers, who worked at the old Brunswick Mill (Co-Op)).
Bowling alley--I don't remember a "Masons Alley."
Where was that?
Drugstores--About 1957 Sid Fribush and his wife
Edie bought what had been Barnett's, and it became Fribush Pharmacy. It was
located on the north side of the first block of West Potomac Street.
There was another furniture store operated on E.
Potomac Street by two brothers, one of whom built a house out on R. 340 near
the Hawaiian Night Club. The brother who lived in Frederick was named Nat
Winters, and his brother who built the house on Route 340 was Irv. Kolker. Can't
remember what they called the store, but it was at least half again as large
as Potomac Furniture.
Baseball Field--It was Scheer Stadium, named
for E. W. Scheer, who had been head of the YMCA.
Milk delivery--At first it was Souder, later
becoming Souder and Chick when the two formerly separate operations were
joined. You may remember the Souder girls and their brother (Tommy??) and
Charlotte Chick, all of whom were at BHS about the time we're discussing.
Gas Station--as previously stated, it was
Bar/Restaurant--A man named Kehne operated the one
in what at one time was the Post Office. I don't know how he spelled the name
of his tavern. The liquor store first operated by his father and mother and
later by their son Irving Ephraim, who married Jeannette House (Erma House's
sister) was called just Ephraim's, I believe. Irving was a member of Mensa,
the organization for people who got high scores on a certain IQ test.
Churches--On West Potomac St., directly opposite
People's National Bank, was what was originally called the Evangelical and
Reformed Church, which later was merged on the national level with the United
Brethren Church and was thence called the United Church of Christ. The
Brunswick church closed a number of years ago, and the building has been
mostly neglected/boarded-up since, I believe. The Reformed Church was of
Germanic origin and probably predated Methodism as a denomination. As now
named (United Church of Christ) it continues today as one of the mainline
churches. Don't know why it died out in Brunswick, but believe its sister
church in Lovettsville continues to operate.
Grace Episcopal Church ( the stone church on A
Street ), continues to operate.
The downtown Methodist Church used to be First
Methodist (later changed to First United Methodist to reflect
Methodism's uniting of what were once several branches, including Methodist
Episcopal and Methodist Protestant. The downtown church had been really a
Methodist Episcopal Church and the New York Hill Methodist had been Methodist
Protestant. I think the two churches in Brunswick have lost members in recent
years to the point where their church officials forced them to merge into one
You mention a Church of God, and I don't remember
now whether that is what they called the church on the hill behind the West
Brunswick Elementary School, or if that was the name of the small brick church
that used to operate on West Brunswick Street in the next block or two west of
West Brunswick Elementary.
I don't recall a Presbyterian Church at all, but
there could very well have been one somewhere around town. We had lots of
churches and bars.
I've already told you more than you probably
wanted to know, but if I can react to any other material, just let me know.
As you already know, I'm very much interested in history, particularly the
history of the old home town
You're doing good work.
I have a lot of old BHS pictures I'll send when (
and if) I ever figure out how to operate my scanner.
You certainly got those earlier comments into the
program in a short time.
I did miss a another couple of things, I now
Fuel oil dealer was Irving Weil, who also
sold DeSotos in the 300 block of North Market St.,
Dentists--I remember some of the dentists'
names-- Stanley Meadows. Can't remember Doc Watson's first name, but his son,
Harwood, ran the drug store/soda fountain on the first floor of what is now
the Brunswick RR Museum (the building formerly belonged to a fraternal order
having something to do with Indians, and the wives were members of the Order
of Pocahontas). Upstairs was the only public auditorium in town, and when I
was in elementary school the principal, Carolyn Compton, would have us kids
acting in little plays, etc. which were staged in what we called Redmen's
Hall. I believe that BHS classes were held there for a while after the fire
which destroyed the first BHS building.
Can't remember Dr. Lloyd's first name now, but it
may have been William. He married Nellie Hoar, who taught for some years at
East Brunswick and later BHS.
The doctors whose names I remember were
Levin West, William Schnauffer, Charles Pruitt (His father Eugene Pruitt,
whose name is probably on your BHS diploma, was Supt. of Frederick County
schools for 25 years.), A. Talbot Brice (who actually practiced in
Jefferson), J. G. Fowble Smith, and Arlington Grove Horine. Dr. Horine's son
ran their drugstore in the front corner of their home on the Square Corner.
Grandson Dix Horine was in BHS when we were there, as was granddaughter
Virginia Lee Horine.
Another whom I had totally forgotten was actually
a friend of my first wife and me. We went to U. of M. football games with him
and his wife. He was a Brunswick native whose father was a railroad man, and
his parents converted a part of their home on North Maple Avenue to serve as
his office when he finished his medical training.. His name was Werner
Orrison. He later moved to and practiced in Kansas, where his sister Ruth
Orrison later joined them. He told me he had to move because the patients had
known him as a kid and didn't feel obligated to pay. He couldn't support a
family on the little they did pay! Dr. Orrison died a few years ago now, and
so did his sister, I believe.
I remember four appliance dealererships--Harry
Y. George (Part of his hardware store), Potomac Edison, Litten
(located in their Eastend garage mainly during WW II when they couldn't get
cars to sell), and Gross Brothers, whose store was opposite J.P. Karn
on South Maryland Avenue. One brother, William, was at one time the town
magistrate and a former teacher in the county. He taught a short while at BHS
the year I was principal. His brother Charles continued to operate Gross
Restaurants--Was the Maryland Restaurant
the one we mostly called Mrs. Himes's, located on West Potomac St. in a front
room of her home and about opposite Newberry's?
Movie theater--Imperial, now razed
after being destroyed by a fire. Just a hole in the ground now. One owner
was Stanley(?) Goldberg, and the last one remembered was Sonny Cannon, who ran
it along with his wife Louise. Movies every day of the week except Sundays,
with Saturday matinees where there was always a cliff-hanger serial along with
whatever was the feature film of the week. The feature was usually a Western
on Saturdays, and the matinee was always full of kids. Bets Mills's
drugstore/soda fountain was very handy next door. When I was very young there
would be door prizes certain nights, and there were special promotions when
dishes, etc, were given. Sonny Cannon later devoted most of his attention to
the Firemen's Hall, and he brought in outstanding acts with people who either
were already well known or who became famous later. They included the Guy
Lombardo orchestra, who often played there for New Year's Eve dances, Patsy
Cline, and, I believe, Jimmy Dean. How he ever attracted such talent to our
little town I never knew, but he certainly was a great entrepreneur/promoter.
Curt--Please don't feel any obligation to print
any of this info. It's just fun for me to try out my memory of things I'd
mainly forgotten years ago. It's odd that the names I remember are not
necessarily the people I knew better.