Bridgeville historical society seeks information about 'Hungry Club'
By Jeff Widmer
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Bridgeville Area Historical Society is trying to find out more about the Hungry Club.
The club was a group of about 50 men who began meeting monthly in the late 1930s. They met at various places, such as the former Woman's Club on Dewey Avenue.
The Hungry Club, which probably disbanded in the late 1940s, was mostly a fraternal organization, said Mary Weise, historical society president.
“For us, right now, we have bits and pieces of what the Hungry Club was and what it was all about,” Weise said, “but we want to know more. We have a lot of artifacts here (at the historical society).”
The historical society is located at the restored railroad caboose that once housed the Bridgeville Public Library on Station Street.
The organization last year moved from Hickman Street into its new home; the historical society now houses a collection of photographs, artifacts and mementos from Bridgeville's past that totals into the thousands.
This includes several pictures of the Hungry Club members, taken mainly in the 1940s. Weise and others are trying to find out more about the club.
“We have a lot of pictures that people could come in here and look at. Maybe they could help identify people. Maybe they could help tell us exactly where these pictures were taken. Those are the kinds of things we are looking for,” Weise said.
The Hungry Club, Weise said, got that name because the men would meet to eat. They would have dinner at one of several places, such as the former Capelli's Restaurant, located near the current U.S. Post Office on Washington Avenue, or The Norwood Hotel, where the CoGos is now on Station Street.
“We are not too sure about the Norwood, but it did have some tremendously good food,” Weise said.
Afterward, the men went bowling. This probably took place at one of two bowling alleys: at a building where the LaBella Bean Coffee House and Eatery stands today on Washington Avenue, or what was called the Bridgeville Recreation Center on Station Street.
“From what we see in these pictures,” said Larry Godwin, a member of the Bridgeville and Upper St. Clair historical societies, “that is probably where the pictures were taken.”
Skip Colussy, a Bridgeville resident and former president of Colussy Chevrolet in South Fayette, said several of his deceased relatives, including his father, Albert, were members of the Hungry Club.
“My two uncles (Albert and Gilbert) were, also. It was a bunch of guys who loved getting together and having fun,” Colussy said.
While poring over pictures, Weise recognized Nelson “Pokey” Rothermund, a Bridgeville Borough councilman at the time, as a former member of the Hungry Club.
“We recognize some people, but not all. Anyone who wants to help or who thinks they can is welcome to try,” Weise said.
To reach the Bridgeville Area Historical Society, call 412-221-4052.
Jeff Widmer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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