C.K. Whitner’s Department Store

After 103 years in business on Penn Square, the C.K. Whitner’s department store will close in January 1981. The board of directors issued a brief statement today saying the closing was “due to declining customer traffic in downtown Reading,” but would not affect the operation of the Whitner store in the Berkshire Mall, or its Fifth and Cherry Streets store. – Eagle Photo by James R.
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Zeswitz – 812 Penn Street

Zeswitz
812 Penn Street pictured in 1953

Zeswitz is a music store that most Berks Countians recognize, but some of you may remember when one of the locations was in downtown Reading on the 800 block of Penn Street.

Zeswitz was founded in 1923 by Philadelphia native William “Bill” Zeswitz Sr. According to Zeswitz’s website he was, “master luthier and maker of world-class violins, and founded the company to serve the Reading Symphony Orchestra and musicians in the area.Read Full Article

Haunted Fairgrounds Square Mall

The Fairgrounds Square Mall has itself become a ghost. It was just demolished over what will inevitably go down as the infamous Summer of 2020. The mall was on its last leg for years, and it only seemed fitting that it would meet its end in such a year as this one has been. However, if you spent any time working there over the course of its 40 year existence, you may have heard or seen things you couldn’t explain.… Read Full Article

Josiah Dives & the Ghosts of Folly Farm

Josiah Dives was born in 1851 in Chartham, Kent, England. He started his business career after moving to London at the age of 13 following his Father’s death. When coming to America in 1872, his first residence was Hartford, CT. This is where he met George Pomeroy and John Stewart. Together they came to Reading and founded Dives, Pomeroy, and Stewart Deptartment Store, which later became known as just “Pomeroy’s”. … Read Full Article

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