We Get Letters

Vol. XXI No. 1 - SPRING 2010

We received the following letter about one of the teasers concerning the store at 1671 W. Hollywood. Terry Burke sent this additional information.

My cousins were Alice and Margaret Murtagh who ran the store. I have enclosed a couple of photos. This was taken in approximately 1942. A second photo was taken in 1954.

Arthur and Lucy McDonnell lived directly across the street from the store. Lucy was Alice’s aunt as outlined in the article. My mother, Marirose was the only child of Arthur and Lucy and was raised there. Alice and Margaret took over the store in the late thirties, probably after Edwin Brandfeliner’s death. My mother guesses that Alice must have rented it at first and then finally purchased it in 1950 as the County Recorder records show.

My mother married Thomas Burke, who grew up on Olive Avenue. They had 4 boys and one girl and we were all born in Edgewater Hospital. Although the kids never lived in the neighborhood, we visited very frequently to see our grandparents and Alice and Margaret and the rest of our relatives still living in the neighborhood. Mary Garrity, who helped with some of the background, is our cousin.

The Teaser article mentions that these neighborhood stores were rare in Edgewater. I am not sure if you are aware but there was another store in the neighborhood at the end of Hollywood Avenue at Hermitage. There are apartments or homes in the place where the store was originally. That store was called John’s. John was Alice and Margaret’s competition. So while a rarity, there were two stores within a few hundred yards of each other on the same block.

Our family has many fond memories of Alice and Margaret’s store. It was an important part of our lives and we still talk about it to this day. In the early 70s my grandfather Arthur passed away, and my grandmother Lucy moved to Phoenix. They passed away a few years apart in the late 80s.

I thank you for the article. My mother who still lives here in Phoenix was also very pleased to read about it.

Sincerely, Terry Burke.