This Was Doylestown, 1931
An ocean cruiser is built in Doylestown, a real estate office moves into a remodelled 117-year-old building, and the county courthouse gets a new jury wheel, 82 years ago this week.
Ocean cruiser under construction in Doylestown -
In the mammoth garage of the Fetterolf Transportation Company on Main Street, there is nearing completion a 37-foot, twin-screw, six-ton cruiser owned by R. C. Tell, local Oakland-Pontiac automobile dealer.
The new vessel, handsome and complete in detail, will be completed in a few weeks and will be launched at Essington [in Delaware County on the Delaware River] in the near future, In the meantime, hundreds of people interested in boats have been viewing the borough's newest attraction at the Fetterolf garage.
In the construction of the new cruiser, Mr. Tell is not only carrying out a hobby he has had for a number of years, but he took advantage of rather slack conditions in the automobile business since Christmas. Instead of laying off his mechanics, he has kept them busy daily in the construction of the new boat.
The new cruiser will be christened "Billy-Jeanne," the names of Mr. and Mrs. Tell's two children. Across the back of the cruiser will be the name "Doylestown" in large letters.
The hull of the boat was manufactured in Brooklyn and was hauled to Doylestown shortly before Christmas on a large trailer. When the boat is completed, it will be necessary to haul it to Essington on a large tow trailer similar to those that transport heavy steamrollers.
Construction work of the body and top--everything except the hull--was done here. Much of the interior woodwork was completed at the Nyce Planing Mill.
The vessel has two six-cylinder "Gray Six" marine engines in it capable to developing 140 horsepower. The speed will be approximately 20 knots an hour.
The front cabin includes four berths and the galley, which is equipped with a modern refrigeration plant, four-burner gasoline stove for cooking, closets for the pots and pans, and modern toilet and wash room facilities.
In the pilot house, the most beautiful section of the vessel, the woodwork is entirely of African mahogany. This section contains a double bed that can be folded into the side of the vessel, and the control apparatus of the boat. Trimmings are all in brass, and the pilot house will be furnished in wicker furniture
"With your own cruiser, you have a place to take your friends over weekends and give them a real treat. You get the advantage of the ocean and the river at the same time, and still have a place in which to live very comfortably," said Mr. Tell, who estimated the boat will cost less than $5,000.
Real estate office moves into remodelled building -
Another Colonial structure that is assured of preservation in the central business section of Doylestown for many years to come is the former Atkinson Building, erected 117 years ago, at South Main street and Oakland avenue.
J. Carroll Molloy moved his real estate office on Monday from the Eastburn Building on East Court street to the new location, which he recently purchased and entirely remodelled.
The Molloy Building has been turned into one of the most attractive suites of real estate offices in Bucks county. The offices are occupied by Mr. Molloy and his associate, Charles Miller. On the second floor of the building, a modernly equipped apartment has been installed and is ready for occupancy at any time.
The exterior of the Molloy Building has been repainted and has added much to the attractiveness of that section of the town. The new offices of Mr. Molloy are next door to the new Clymer Department Store.
In the rear of the Molloy Building, a parking lot for ten or twelve automobiles will be constructed by Mr. Molloy. The former yard in the rear will be stoned in an attractive manner, and there will be a driveway leading to the lot from Main street and from Arabella street.
Mr. Molloy also owns the large two-story Colonial stone building in the rear of his offices. In the near future, Mr. Molloy contemplates the building of apartments on the second floor of this building, the first floor being used until now for automobile storage space. The building has also been repainted on the outside.
Musical program presented at Sandy Ridge school -
Following the business meeting of the Parent-Teacher Association of the Sandy Ridge school [on Sandy Ridge Road in Doylestown Township] on Monday evening, an interesting and varied musical program was given by members of the community. With but one exception, the talent was entirely local.
The program consisted of violin selections by Thomas Keenan, accompanied at the piano by Miss Gertrude Bishop; and a piano duet by two pupils of the Sandy Ridge school. A male quartet composed of Millard Detweiler, Artemas Gross, David Nyce and Jesse Ricket sang "There's Music in the Air" and "Whispering Hope." Orchestra music was furnished by a group of five boys.
During the program, short talks on music were given by Miss Ada Thut, Mrs. Frank Chestnut and Millard Detweiler. These speakers all stressed the fact that music is very important in the education of the child.
One of the speakers said, "Music broadens the child's world of thought and it develops a culture and refinement secured by no other means. Not only that, but music develops memory, accuracy, promptness and self-confidence, factors all very important to success."
The next meeting will be held on Monday evening, April 6, when Rev. Charles Freeman, pastor of Salem Reformed Church, Doylestown, will give an address.
ANNUAL MINSTREL ENTERTAINMENT...Given by Boys' Brigade, Thurs. & Fri., March 12th & 13th, 1931. Strand Theatre, Doylestown, 7:45...Reserved Seats 50c at Baldwin's Pharmacy, State and Main. See Bill Polk's Grab Bag Revue.
Better mail service sought for Doylestown -
With the electrification of the Reading Railroad system nearing completion, there is a movement under way to secure more frequent and more efficient mail service for Doylestown.
It is planned by a group of business and professional men to circulate a petition through the Rotary, Kiwanis, Optimist and other clubs of the town, as well as all offices and people transacting business by mail, for signatures to be forwarded to the proper United States mail authorities for the district located in Philadelphia.
With more frequent electric train service promised, it is the unanimous opinion of people interviewed that Doylestown should have an outbound mail leaving town about noon and another at 9 or 10 o'clock at night to Philadelphia.
Although Doylestown is but a short distance from Philadelphia, it is impossible for a business man receiving his mail here in the morning, to answer a letter and get it into a mail that will get back to Philadelphia the same day, unless speed records are shattered.
The usual morning business mail is sorted and read by the average business man by 10 o'clock in the morning. There is a morning mail outbound about 9 o'clock. It is contended that a mail should leave Doylestown about the noon hour in order to reach the Philadelphia central office for central delivery in the afternoon.
Likewise, there is no mail out of Doylestown after 5:45 at night, while a canvass of the community shows that a night mail, more than anything else, is desired.
Courthouse gets new jury wheel -
Editor's note - Bucks County used to select jurors each year with a "jury wheel," actually a hollow drum that rotated on a frame. Pieces of paper with names of prospective jurors would be placed inside the drum, which the two elected jury commissioners turned and then randomly drew names. By the 1980s, the county was using computers to select juror names from lists of licensed drivers and other sources. The county will eliminate its two paid jury commissioner positions at the end of this year, although the state jury commissioners association has appealed the 2011 law allowing counties to drop the post, to the state Supreme Court.
Demand for an increased number of jurors as the result of the greater number of cases coming before the county courts has been the cause of a change in one of the most important things connected with the courts, a small mechanical device known as the jury wheel.
The old jury wheel, which has served no less than fifty years in the drawing of first men and in more recent years, women, was replaced this week by a more modern and larger wheel.
As the business of the county courts increased, it became apparent that more jurors would have to be drawn each year. It was found then that the old jury wheel was too small, and action was taken to provide a new wheel.
A local firm made a careful study of the old wheel. The new device was made similar to the old one, but is larger. A new frame was constructed to hold the larger wheel. This has resulted in the abandonment of the old frame, which may have been the only one ever to have been used in the county.
The old frame stands at least four feet high and is constructed of oak or hickory. The base is about three feet long and about a foot wide. It was made when there was no scarcity of lumber because the supports and braces measure two or more inches in thickness.
What will become of the old wheel and frame is not known at present, but it is believed eventually it will be turned over to the Bucks County Historical Society museum, where it will be treasured as one of the relics which, although a very simple device, played a very prominent role in the courts of justice.
When bigger and better sandwiches are built, THE GROTTO will build them. Ask the person who ate one...THE GROTTO, Phone Doylestown 325.
Doylestown Town Notes -
Harry T. Hayman, of Edison, was given a hearing before Justice of the Peace Irvin M. James on Tuesday morning on the charge of failing to water his cow and pigs. This was his third offense.
Billy Spare, of North Clinton street, is a victim of the mumps.
Miss Vivien Slotter was the guest of honor at a party celebrating her eleventh birthday on Monday afternoon. Her guests, who included her schoolmates, later attended the movies.
Jacob Frater is remodeling his property located on the Sandy Ridge road, which he recently purchased from Rudolph Hein.
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Stillwagon have moved from South Clinton street to East street.
While hanging curtains in the living room of her home on Shewell avenue Tuesday afternoon, Mrs. A. Oscar Martin toppled from the stepladder and suffered a broken shoulder in the fall. She was reported to be resting comfortably at the Doylestown Emergency Hospital on Wednesday.
The last of the old trolley tracks of the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company in Doylestown were removed Friday.
Thomas Dreenen, Sr., of South Clinton street, has accepted a position at the North Wales Tapestry Mill.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Buck, who were married in Allentown on Sunday, were given a serenade Monday evening at the home of the groom's mother on Lafayette street.
Mrs. John Walton, of Edison, entertained the Ace High Bridge Club at her home on Thursday night. Prizes were awarded to Mrs. Thomas Diver, Miss Martha Anders and Mrs. Joseph VanPelt.
Harry Burmeister and Abraham Kentop have purchased new Chevrolet cars from the Hayman Motor Company.
From the Doylestown Daily Intelligencer, Week of March 1-7, 1931