West Newark

by Jule Spohn


Wilderotters was in the same location for decades. I'm not sure if they had horse and wagons but it is certainly quite possible that they did. They were at 447 18th Ave which was on the south side of Springfield Ave right near South 10th Street. This area was known as the old "Third Ward" and mostly German and Jewish. Just a few blocks away is Woodland Cemetery where over 80,000 Germans are buried and where over the past few decades almost all of their tombstones have been overturned by the humans who behave like animals and the city has done nothing to fix them. I've sent letters to the Mayor and Council members and none of them have had the decency to answer my letters about this terrible travesty.

When I went shopping with my mother in that general part of Springfield Ave back in the 40's and 50's we would always stop and have lunch in a wonderful "old fashioned" German restaurant nearby but I don't remember the name of any longer.

My mother also had a friend of her's named Elsie who owned a beauty parlor in the 1950's a few doors down from Wilderotters.

Feinstein's Pharmacy - They are still in business in that same spot - 295 16th Ave on the NW corner. They advertise on FOX TV all of the time. I had Spohn cousins who lived right across the street, on the NE corner at #291. On the SW corner at #296 was the "Liberty Hall Bar" where I had gone to many times in the 40's and 50's with my father and uncles. Mintz's bar was a few doors down in the middle of the block between 17th and 18th Streets. I also seem to remember that back in the 40's and 50's there was another bar on the SE corner.

The West End Theater was a few blocks west of there on 16th Ave. That was at #346 16th Ave. Up until the German hysteria in the 1940's it had been called the "Hindenberg Theater" but like so many other German stores, schools, and streets here in Newark and elsewhere, it was forced to change it's name to the West End Theater. There was a German bakery right next door to it at #350 and across the street from there at #345 was "Willie's Tavern" which it was rumored to have had a "secret" passage way into the theater.

This was a wonderful area back in the 30's, 40's and 50's and today it is one of the worst and most dangerous areas in Newark


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