Another lead in our sleuthing pointed us to the Sansone family who moved to the area around 1914. You may recognize the name, the farm they owned and worked throughout the 1900’s is still alive and active on Rt 518!
Several weeks back we had the sincere pleasure of speaking with Cathy Sansone whose father, Neil Sansone, ran the American Store from the late 1950’s to the mid 1960’s with his best friend, George Osif.
“I was George and Mary’s flower girl at their wedding,” Cathy told us. “George and my father were best friends from way back and they had a great time running the market together.”
Cathy explained to us that the American Store (as well as the Pharmacy and several other buildings) was owned by the Holcombe family – in particular, the beloved Ms. Annie Holcombe.
“Annie just loved my father,” Cathy reminisced with such fondness. “She was his school teacher and when she reopened the American Store in the 1950’s, she asked my father and George to take it over. My father was the butcher – the best butcher!”
They did and they ran the market and butcher shop until about 1966. Shortly thereafter it was taken over by the Pagano family and changed names to Hopewell Village Market.
“Everyone knew everyone in town. I remember the Gallop Family owned the theater behind our market and, for some reason, Loretta YoungHollywood star and Academy Award winning actress, was there,” Cather recalled. “Loretta came into our market and I thought that was just a most special and exciting thing! We all talked about that for years!”
While we continue to dig deeper into the history, memories, and floorboards, it is apparent that 7 West Broad did more than just feed the community: it was an integral piece of the Hopewell community fabric.
Our search is still on! Do you have memories of the American Store? Do you remember the Holcombe family?