In 1930’s a well-known Camden professional basketball star, Roy Steele, went into the bar business. He first operated the Browning Lake Inn which was located on an old lake on the Little Timber Creek in Bellmawr. Then in 1933 he built Roy Steele’s Log Cabin & Barge Café along the banks of the Cooper River on Admiral Wilson Blvd in Camden. Log Cabin Bars & Restaurants were popular around this time and many where built throughout South Jersey. Roy’s however had an added feature.
Operated by David B. Berschler, this business served Camden’s Jewish community. Established in 1923, David Berschler located in the Parkside section in the 1940s at 1401-03 Princess Avenue, it was in walking distance from two synagogues in the community.
On November 30, 1927, Jimmie Rodgers arrived in Camden to cut his first professionally recorded records. Three months earlier Ralph Peer, a talent scout for Camden’s Victor Records had traveled south to Bristol VA/TN, seeking some new talent for Victor. Rodgers was the first to be invited back to Camden to record. The Carter Family followed in the spring of 1928.
The firm of F. A. Poth & Sons, Incorporated, of New Jersey, brewers of lager beer, sprang into existence in the year 1910, as the result of a desire on the part of the parent concern, F.A. Poth & Sons, Incorporated, of Pennsylvania to give the people of Camden a Brewery of their own, as a mark of appreciation for the generous patronage it had received for twenty-five years or more.
Camden’s brewery at Fillmore and Bulson Streets was built in 1904 by Joseph Baumgartner. The firm was known as the Camden City Brewery Incorporated until it was acquired by Frederick A. Poth, and operated by F.A. Poth & Sons Inc., a Philadelphia based brewery, in 1910. The plant was then modernized to current standards of the time. The firm was operated F.A. Poth & Sons Incorporated of New Jersey before Prohibition. During the 1920s the brewery came under the control of Philadelphia based bootlegger Mickey Duffy, and was a major source of revenue for him until his murder in 1931. Another crime figure, Edgar “Blondy” Wallace, had an interest in the brewery but apparently was out of the picture by the fall of 1934.
THE SEVEN BROTHERS BAKING COMPANY was founded in 1910. In 1916, the seven Canzanese brothers, nephews of the original owner, took over management of the bakery. Under the direction of Vincent Canzanese, the bakery grew and was improved upon year by year. Originally delivering bread and rolls in Camden by horse-drawn wagons, the Seven Brothers Baking Company made the switch to trucks. By the fall of 1936 they were operating a fleet of eighteen vehicles, and were servicing groceries and restaurants over much of South Jersey. That year the Seven Brothers Baking Company introduced a new rectangular, pre-sliced Italian bread, a breakaway from the traditional round loaf.
Founded in the mid-1920s, The American National Bank built a fine building at 1213 Broadway which is still standing today, although it has been boarded up and vacant for many years. The bank’s President was Elmer Ellsworth Long, who had been a principle in the Munger & Long Department Store at Broadway and Federal Street for many years. Another director was Louis Waisban, who owned a grocery and had real estate interests in Cramer Hill.
The Farmers and Mechanics Bank was organized with a capital of $300,000 on March 31, 1855. The banking house at the southeast corner of Front and Market Streets was built at the cost of $18,000. This institution was conducted as a State Bank until September 1, 1864 when it became a National Bank and its title changed to First National Bank of Camden. On July 1, 1922, it merged with the National State Bank under the title of First National State Bank of Camden. The banking house of the National State Bank was used by the combined institutions and the old building of the First National Bank was subsequently sold to the Joseph Campbell Soup Company.
Take it from one who knows, a pretzel from Philadelphia may be alright, but a fresh pretzel from Camden is special! Do yourself a favor, drive down to Cramer Hill, stop in at the bakery, and get your pretzels straight out of the oven! Perfect for fundraising and outdoor events, call 856-338-0208 to arrange delivery.
Our Father and Mother opened Lang’s Bakery, March 1,1939 at 2752 Federal Street in East Camden, and stayed in business there until June 1970. For many years we supplied Camden Catholic High School in Camden with our cream and jelly donuts, especially during Lent. Cramer School students ate their lunches in the store. After Sunday Mass our store was always always crowded with people from St Joseph’s and other nearby churches. I attended Cramer and Woodrow Wilson High as did my brothers Hans (WWHS ’50) and Danny (WWHS ’60) and my wife Hilda Larmour Lang (WWHS ’52).
A true Camden NJ treasure, and a tradition for many throughout South Jersey – both are accurate descriptions of Erlton Italian Bakery, Marlton Avenue and Berkeley Street in East Camden. The business, founded in the mid-1950s, has been a Camden fixture since 1966. East Camden residents have been savoring the aroma of the fresh bread baking in the family owned and operated bakery for decades.