History of The Blackburn 1897 by Henry Farley
I was recently contacted and asked what I could find out about the Blackburn Block in Sayre. This building, which is at 130 W. Lockhart St., is in a series of buildings that were added to the Rockman Store about 1977. That group of buildings is now owned by the Seck family who also own Chacona's Restaurant. The Seck's are in the process of renovating the buildings to add more services to Chacona's and make some store fronts available as well.
Going back to a city directory for Sayre in 1888 when the town was still part of Athens Township there were only a handful of merchants on all of Lockhart Street. Edward E. Haupt had a meat market, Oscar H. Mint was a barber, George C. Bruster of Waverly had a Book and Stationary Store and was also a druggist and Rudolph Lipcot was a boot and shoe maker.
In the 1890s, Sayre was coming to life and when searching the old newspapers from the time you find many references to the continuous building in Sayre. It was in 1897 that William B. Blackburn built the Blackburn block in Sayre. The Athens Gazette for Dec. 2, 1897 states "W. B. Blackburn has moved in his new block on Lockhart Street." The directory of 1888 lists W. B. Blackburn as a cigar dealer on Desmond Street. Blackburn was gone from the business by 1900 when Roderick M. McCraney was listed as the proprietor of a candy store in the Blackburn Building. McCraney was about 25 years old in 1900 and didn't stay in the business to long. When he died of Typhoid fever in Towanda in 1911, he was 36 years old and was a travelling salesman. McCraney sold the business to William Raymond and Charles Haupt who ran the business as a confectionary and ice cream shop. In 1914, John F. Adam was running the confectionary shop and in 1918, James Shedden was running the business. In 1924, the business was named the Chocolate Shop and it was managed by Miltiades Theoharous. In 1931, The Chocolate Shop was listed with Paul Shedden as Manager and in 1936 James Theoharous is in charge. In 1940, Francis H. Dunfee was the proprietor and in 1948, the Chocolate Shop is under the management of Daniel R. Eddleston. In 1951, Earl J. and Helen M. West are listed as proprietors. In 1953, the name is no longer listed as the Chocolate Shop it is called Dugans under the management of Kathryn and Edward B. Dugan this remained for several years. In 1958, the building housed J & M Restaurant with Marion E. Miller as proprietor. In 1960, the building was vacant and in 1963, it was the home of Darrow's Hair Fashion it remained the home of Darrow's until the time it was purchased by George and Mary "Babe" Tymoski and renovated to become part of Rockman's. Some of the beauticians that ran Darrow's were Barbara Rowe and Dianna Havens. Mrs. Gladys Jerome appears as a proprietor too. Tymoski's sold the business to Michelle Marone Sullivan. Michelle relocated and the building was vacant for several years until the Seck's purchased the site and breathed some new life into the complex that originally held four store fronts.
Some of the other businesses that were in the storefronts from the alley to Elmer Avenue on West Lockhart Street were: In 1905, Henry J. Honold Tobacco, 122 W. Lockhart; William Hollingshead Retail Liquor ,124 W. Lockhart; Bess M. Loop News dealer, 126 W. Lockhart; Dr. Harry Towner, physician, Dr. Walter Stephens, dentist, Harry A. Kaufman, clothier, John F. Fletcher, bakery, 136 W. Lockhart; Hill and Beibach, saloon, 138 W. Lockhart; Robert H. Lambert, broker, 140 W. Lockhart; and Mary K. Murray, bakery, 142 W. Lockhart.
In the 1910 directory, Max Rockman has a clothing, shoe and furnishings store at 128 W. Lockhart and the Sayre Electric Company is listed at 134 W. Lockhart with the Board of Trade at 136. A. E. Bressler, a buttterine dealer, is listed in the Mary Murray bakery at 142 W. Lockhart. Buttterine was a substance prepared from animal fat with some other ingredients intermixed, as an imitation of butter. It was only allowed to be sold as oleo-margarine. Augustus Smith is listed at 144 W. Lockhart as a shoe dealer.
In 1914, Patrick Shannon is at 124 W. Lockhart as a tea dealer. Elizabeth Murray is at 132 W. Lockhart as a dressmaker and at 134 W. Lockhart is Lewis J. Galpin, a gas and electric demonstrator for the Sayre Electric Company. Charles A Beibach had a café at 138 W. Lockhart.
1916 added a few new stores at 122 W. Lockhart was Henry G. Dunn, a barber; Louis Conte, a shoemaker, at 124 W. Lockhart; and Richard D. Williams, a dealer in furs, at 142 W. Lockhart.
In 1921, Stephen Jackson is listed as a barber at 122 W. Lockhart. Richard Sharping has a shoe shop at 124 W. Lockhart. Max Rockman has added his son to his business at 128 W. Lockhart. Dan Dabbieri is a tailor at 140 W. Lockhart and the Wisteria Tea Room is at 142 W. Lockhart.
In 1924, Max Rockman is at 128 W. Lockhart as a clothier and his son, Joseph, is at 134 also selling clothing. Robert Williams at 138 has increased his inventory to include furs, ladies wear and wallpaper.
In 1928, Harvey LaBarr is listed at 142 W. Lockhart as collector for the Internal Revenue Service and Paul Chacona and Peter Delcos opened a restaurant at 118 W. Lockhart which, in 1930, is listed as Texas Hots.
In 1931, C. Birney Brown operated a sandwich shop at 136 W. Lockhart. The Market Basket National Store was at 144 W. Lockhart and Bobby Bolich Inc., a ladies clothing store, was at 146 W. Lockhart.
In 1936, John Novak had a cigarette shop at 138 W. Lockhart. C. Hinton Cook is selling Insurance at 136 W. Lockhart and Lockhart Shoe repair is at 124 W. Lockhart. The Fern Restaurant with Mrs. Margaret Hughes as proprietor is at 126 W. Lockhart.
In 1940, Chacona Brothers Barbeque is at 118 W. Lockhart. Retlaw Cleaners is at 120 W. Lockhart and Michael Schusco has Quick Shoe Repair at 124 W. Lockhart. Angelo Stappas has the Deluxe Cigar store at 138 W. Lockhart, O'Neill's Jewelry is at 142 W. Lockhart and Mrs. Virginia Bostwick daughter of Robert Williams the furrier has Virginia's Dress Shop at 144 W. Lockhart.
The businesses continued along the same theme through the years. Some of the other names that appear in directories are Aaron Atkins, Tailor, Savercools Appliance Store, Sayre Building and Loan, Leo's Pharmacy, Stover's Reality. Dominic Catarisano, Tailor, Valley Vending, Valley Cable TV, Sweep and Sew, Shop and Save, and Tina Pickett's office.
Chacona's is the only business still in operation with the name being associated with serving food on West Lockhart for nearly 90 years. The other businesses there today are Teresa's Unisex Hair Styling, Joanne Kizer Real Estate, Spectrum Cable TV and Niemiec, Smith & Pellinger Law Office.