When I look at old pictures of Hydetown it almost makes me wish I could time travel. When cousin Ralph and I were young, Hydetown seemed to be such a busy community.
A lot of people that live in Hydetown today don’t know this, but there was once a gas station standing in the parking lot of Hydetown Baptist Church. The Bossard brothers ran the station and, later on, Louie and George Thomas ran the station. I have one picture where you can see the station in the background. If anyone out there has a good picture of Bossard’s station, I would love to be able to make a copy of your picture.
Then, of course, right across the street from the station by the bridge stood Union Church. My great-great-grandfather, Samuel Ridgway, who started the Ridgway Sanitarium, also built Union Church. The church was open to anyone who wanted to speak there. They were considered a non-denominational church. They had a basketball court in the church where the Hydetown Hornets basketball team played. There is just an empty lot there now. I remember when I was a kid, after they bulldozed that lot, I helped pick up rocks and broken pieces of stained glass.
Then on down the street, somewhere behind the old post office and the firehall sat the old Hydetown train depot. I can’t help but think of all the people that came into the borough of Hydetown on the train for some healing magic from Ridgway Sanitarium across from the train depot.
So many made the excursion into Hydetown by train or streetcar to experience the healing power of Ridgway’s Acme Liniment. The liniment was expertly administered by the powerful hands of Samuel Ridgway and his trained associates.
Busy place? You bet it was!
Come on out, pull up a bridge and sit a spell — we’ll swap some stories.
— Hydetown Baptist Church: Pastor Jeff Sterling. Sunday, 9:30 a.m., Sunday school; 11 a.m., worship service. Wednesday, 7 p.m. prayer and Bible study. All are welcome.
Sunday Sermon: “Celebrate Thanksgiving” Deuteronomy 8:7-20
— Hydetown United Methodist Church: Pastor Dean Cooney — Sunday, 9:45 a.m., worship service.
A final thought
Have a great and happy Thanksgiving this week, and don’t forget to start the week attending church together as a family tomorrow.
Jeff and Robin may be reached at (814) 775-0107, for anyone wanting to make positive contributions to this column. People submitting news are asked to limit news and activities to those of the Hydetown area.