Italian Pete's Small Shack

Replaced by the Red & White Store





McGrath Genealogy  |  Upperchurch Connections  |       Old Mattydale          |  What's New  |  Contact



McGrath Genealogy  |  Upperchurch Connections  |       Old Mattydale          |  What's New  |  Contact

















Italian Pete's Small Shack



This is an enlarged area of a 1926 photo showing a structure that might be the shack in question. Along the top is Molloy Road, entering diagonally from the bottom are, Brewerton Road and the Trolley line, grouped on the left and LeMoyne Street on the right. The white rectangular structure in the southeast corner of the intersection of Molloy Road with LeMoyne Street is the structure in question. 


The elm trees in the island, below the intersection of Brewerton and Molloy, are so tall that their shadows almost give the impression of a second nearby tree. If the quality of the photo is good enough it can be seen that only the trees have a texture to them, the shadows are solid black. I can remember the elms along Brewerton from Kirsch to the Hollywood theater. I also sadly remember the big stumps that were left behind after the elms were all cut down.

Along the right margin of the above picture is Raphael Ave. At the top of the block that is bordered by Lemoyne, Molloy and Raphael is a small light colored building. The Duplessis History of Mattydale had a little to say about this location:


"At one time there was only one store. It was more or less a small shack operated by an Italian named Pete. This was located a little southeast of the intersection of the Molloy Highway and the Brewerton Plank Road. This shack

burned. The site is now occupied by the Red and White Store."


A gentleman named Louis Tuori built a store at the southeast corner of Lemoyne and Molloy and when offering it for rent in June 1927 he described it as a new building. There were actually two stores he was trying to rent and both were 24’ by 24’ in dimension. The store at the corner of Lemoyne and Molloy later became the Red and White store and Louis was the proprietor of this grocery store in June 1929. Now this raises the question of whether the structure in the 1926 aerial photo might be the Red & White grocery store, or could it be the small shack referred to by Duplessis?


The Red & White store might be able to tie up a couple loose ends. Louis Byer opened the Hollywood theater in February 1935 but in several other articles, in 1930 and 1936, Byer was described as a Mattydale grocer. Perhaps he ran the Red & White grocery store at one time. I can remember the Red & White store. It was eventually torn down and Skinner’s Department store was built on that corner.   


This 1949 picture below, from Helen Burnham’s book, shows the northern half of the Red & White grocery store. It was a two story, peaked roof structure with a small attic and a small dormer on at least one side. When Louis Tuori was running the store he and his family lived above the store and their address was given as 100 E. Molloy Road. The store itself faced Lemoyne Ave. and would have had an address on that street.


The photo was taken from Helen Burnham's book, "Trolley Stops Two, Three and Four." It was taken from Brewerton Road looking east, up East Molloy Road. The Red & White store is on the right in the southeast corner of the intersection of Brewerton and Molloy.


The plan here is to examine the shadows of the buildings in the 1926 aerial photo to see if it is possible to determine if the light colored structure at the corner of Molloy and Lemoyne was the Red & White store or was it old Italian Pete’s shack?




This is the same 1926 aerial photo shown at the top of the page.


Now, if the light colored structure in the 1926 photo is examined, it is seen that roof is all one color, therefore the roof is not peaked. The shadow is very short so this can be a single story structure at most. The north side of the structure is not parallel to Molloy Road. Therefore, as it stood in the summer or fall of 1926, this light colored structure could not be the completed Red & White grocery store. Based on just this shadow analysis a 100% identification of this structure doesn’t seem possible. It could be Pete’s shack or perhaps it was Louis Tuori store while it was under construction. The light colored area surrounding the structure is a strong indication of a construction site.


The Red & White store was 24’ by 24’ according to Louis Tuori’s July 1927 ad and the light colored structure is definitely a rectangle. But then, the space might have been subdivided and Tuori was only renting a square area within the rectangle.



These newspaper ads from 1927 and 1929 show that Louis Tuori at first tried to rent his building after it was constructed but somehow wound up running a grocery store out of it himself.