Saturday, May 18, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

THEN & NOW: The former Whistle Stop Coffee Shop and Grill in Ashley Falls

When the Route 7 bypass was built circa 1960, small businesses in Ashley Falls suffered, and the Whistle Stop Coffee Shop and Grill closed.

The Whistle Stop Coffee Shop and Grill was located on upper Main Street in Ashley Falls during the 1950s. Several photographs of the business are shown above and below. The name was chosen by owners Mary and Emerick Schneck because the train station was located next door. At the time, Mary was a well known artist and educator. Emerick was a talented textile designer, industrial engineer, and artist.

When the Route 7 bypass was built circa 1960, small businesses in Ashley Falls suffered, and the restaurant closed. Emerick passed away in 2010, just a few months short of his 100th birthday. During his senior years, Emerick’s longtime friend and caregiver, Patricia Blumhagen, operated the Organic Herb Barn and Art Gallery at this location. The business is now closed and the property was recently sold.

THEN: Dramatic lettering advertised the Whistle Stop’s Charcoal Grill. Photo courtesy of Gary Leveille.
THEN: The original roadside sign at the Whistle Stop Coffee Shop and Grill. Photo courtesy of Gary Leveille.
THEN: This railroad-themed mural was one of several wall paintings displayed inside the restaurant. Photo by Gary Leveille.
NOW: The former Whistle Stop Coffee Shop later morphed into the Organic Herb Barn. It is now out of business. Photo by Gary Leveille.
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THEN & NOW: ‘Gasoline Alley’ along Route 71

During the first half of the 20th century, there were five gas stations along a six-mile stretch from North Egremont, north along Route 71 to the Route 22 intersection.

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