Remembering The Past: 1940s & 1950s Fords Memories

by Diane Norek Harrison

WOODBRIDGE—Here are some memories from the Fords section of Woodbridge given to me by Elizabeth Szylagi:

“Diane, Here are some memories from the New Brunswick Avenue area near the Edison line. There was Fords Bakery that was owned by the Eisner family. What a bakery that was! People would go to the bakery at 8 p.m. for their fresh rye bread right out of the oven. There was also Fords Deli owned by George Patrick, a shoe repair store owned by Mr. Paku and Grahman’s Gift Shop. Gussie’s confectionery store sold candy and newspapers and had a soda fountain. Lopes Restaurant was here in the 1960s.


“There was Fords Bowling Alley, Restaurant and Bar owned by the Bacokay Family who also owned Fords Lumber Co. Lund’s Service Station also sold appliances. There was a little specialty store, owned by Harry and Toby Petronovsky, which sold women’s clothes and was a very nice store. The Etcold’s family owned a cleaners and tailoring shop. Dr. Cooperman had his medical office and Dr. Ralph Deutsch had his dental practice here. The Dudic’s Family owned a linoleum store and Eleanor’s Beauty Shop. The Herbert family owned a car repair shop and the Olpinski’s owned another one.

“The Hohol family owned a bar with a hall attached. It later became the Alamo and the Lemon Tree. There was Sondergard’s Tavern and Sondergard’s Insurance Agency. Kish’s Tavern and Meyer’s Tavern were in the area.

“There was Fords Hardware and Thompson’s Hardware stores, Oasis Diner and a barber shop with Joe Fotrich as the owner. Ferbel’s had an ice cream fountain and sold candy and newspapers, Kaybert’s Sweet Shop, Katz’ Drug Store with Sam Katz, sold ice cream and another drug store with a soda fountain had Joseph Puhan as the owner. This store was smaller then Katz’, but a nice little store.

“There was the Liddle House on New Brunswick Avenue and King George Road, Fords National Bank, Gross’s Corner sold cars, L&L Market, and A&P, a five and ten owned by the Metzger’s Family, a grocery store owned by the Dambach Family and a barber shop with Mr. Hirner as the owner.

“The post office used to be on New Brunswick Avenue and the Fords Fire House was once on Corrielle Street. And, people in the area are sad with the recent closing of the St. John’s First Aid Squad.”

If you have your own memories of the past in Middlesex or Union counties, email me at or send copies of your material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey St., Suite 503, Elizabeth NJ, 07201

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