1910 Norwich, PA: Department Store
photo credit: Donald Hull Collection
See this location during the 1914
1908, the towns of Norwich and Betula were thriving communities due to
the sudden expansion of the lumber industry, mainly the Goodyear Lumber
Co. Joseph Hull's department store was said to be the largest in
northeast Pennsylvania. It had three large entrance doors and at
the side was an enclosed leading platform large enough to accommodate three
railroad box cars. At first the railroad came from Keating Summit.
Later the Pennsylvania Railroad was extended from Colegrove, or Hamlin
as the settlement was called at the corner of West Bank Road to Red Mill
Creek. The Hull Store furnished employment for the children of Joseph
Hull: Charles, Harry, John, Norman, and Lorn. May
Gallup also worked as a clerk. She married Charles Hull after
her divorce from Herman Adler. Bertha Jackson was also a clerk.
The store carried all kinds of merchandise: dry goods, hardware, feed,
ect, and kept two tailors busy making clothes to order. It was equipped
with overhead cash carriers, as in large city department stores.
Charles Hull was the manager, he kept two Cadillac
limousines with chauffeurs to transport his lady customers. They
were picked up at their homes, taken to the store for shopping and then
returned to their homes with their purchases. It was said that the
Hull Store drove everyone in Norwich Township out of business except Charles
Anderson. When the store opened its doors in 1908, the Smethport
band played all day. Flowers and gifts were given to the women customers.
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Norwich Topographic Map
Hull's Department Store, Norwich, PA
At the height of activity
in Norwich, there were two motion picture houses open daily, three pool
rooms, three ice cream parlors, five restaurants, and three grocery stores
owned by Frank Oviatt, Roland Pierson, and the Grisell Bros. These
grocery stores went bankrupt after the opening of the Hull Store.
Fred Petruzzi operated one of the pool halls.
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2001 Norwich Hull's Department Store:
photo credit: Ross Porter Collection
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