Saturday, July 16, 2011

Shopping Saturday - The Telesca Bowling Alley

My husband's grandfather, John Telesca along with his two older brothers Joseph and Connie Telesca, owned and operated a bowling alley at 535 East Drinker Street, Dunmore, Pennsylvania.

It was called “The Telesca Bowling Alleys.”  The bowling alley had four lanes, a card room, billiard tables, upstairs apartments, two stores in the front, and possibly a dance section.  A son of Joseph Telesca worked there as a child. I spoke with him over the phone and he told me about the bowling alleys and his memories there. He set pens, took reservations for billiards and was sent home around 6 p.m.  Brunetta (Joseph’s wife) ran the shoe store up front and Donato would help her look after it, but he was not allowed to ring up any purchases. Jack (he called John Telesca by his nickname) and his wife Elsie lived in the apartment closest to the street so when a customer wanted to buy something Donato would run outside and holler for Aunt Elsie to come down to ring up the customer. 

The 1927 Scranton City Directory lists John and Connie (Camnio) Telesca living at 535 Drinker Street.
1927 Scranton City Directory, Pennsylvania

We visited Dunmore in 2000 and visited the building on 535 Drinker Street. It was a plumbing store. We went into the store to look around. We told the owners that my husband's family had owned the building and it had been a bowling alley. I showed them the 1927 Scranton Directory and they were surprised, they knew nothing of the history of the building. The front of the building where the store(s) were, was their showroom and was crammed with plumbing supplies. They let us go upstairs where the apartments had been and look around. It was now one unfinished room where they stored extra supplies.
535 Drinker Street, Dunmore, Pennsylvania

The “Telesca Brothers” contracting business was also run out of the same building. According to Joseph's son their motto was: “from foundations to decorations.” 

It was exciting to see and be in the building of my husband's ancestors. To know that they lived and worked there helped us feel connected to them.

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