Bell Town
(Also known as Goose Town)

Comprising:

  • McLaughlin Run Road (formerly McLaughlin’s Run Road)

Growing up in Bell Town, During the Great Depression

--Based on information provided by Virginia Regine Bourg

Bell Town is a part of Bridgeville, located on McLaughlin Road, between the bridge that was near the then Verzellesis Store, and the bridge which is located near the entrance of the now Bridgeville Park. It was inhabited by many warm, caring and loving people. There were Italians, Germans, Russians, Lithuanians and many others. Some familiar names were Bigi, Villani, Regine, Grossi, Ziegler, Federoff, Martini, Steiner and Licata, to name a few.

Kids all played together—hide ‘n seek, kick the can, ball, jacks, cutouts and more. There was very little traffic in those days, so we mostly played on the street. We would break to go home for a mayonnaise or mustard sandwich, or maybe one of grape jelly, which was always plentiful. We were all poor, but none of us knew it. We all wore hand-me-downs and were glad to have them. Neighbors had time for each other, and shared vegetables from their gardens, lemonade on a hot summer afternoon, and love. There was no air conditioning, not even a fan, unless you went to the butcher shop.

During the war, we supported the boys who went to the service, and forever remembered the ones who did not return. We had air raid drills and blackouts, and when the war ended, we danced through the street. People who never came out of their houses joined in, until the whole street was full of people.

All in all, it was a great place to grow up, and I’m glad I grew up there then.

Bridgeville Firsts...

  • 1903 – Paved sidewalks
  • 1904 – Sanitary sewers and street arc lighting
  • 1908-9 – Paved streets were installed
  • 1917 – House numbering plans were introduced
  • 1926 – Electric and hand controlled stop/go signals were installed at the corner of Washington Avenue and Station Street
  • 1927 – First fire truck was purchased
  • 1928 – Organization of a dedicated fire department
  • 1935 – Showing of Sunday movies was approved at the November general election
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