The following is an excerpt from an oral history conducted by Dalton Gackle with interviewee Howard M. Berry. Howard grew up in Park City from 1928 to 1949. To learn more about the Park City Museum’s oral history program, visit parkcityhistory.org/oralhistories/ or email Dalton at email@example.com.
My first job was in the grocery store that my dad’s sister and her husband opened up in about 1936. It was called the Westside Store [Most commonly referred to as Earl’s Market in the Park Record newspaper]. I was about twelve years old. I went in on Saturdays and bagged potatoes in ten-pound bags. The potatoes came in 100-pound bags at that time. It was my job to get the potatoes bagged in the ten-pound bags. The eggs came in thirty-dozen crates. I had to take the eggs and put them in cartons that held a dozen. And maybe helped sweep the store or maybe stock the shelves, or to help fill orders. At that time, people just called in their orders and they were taken by phone and then put together and delivered. I gradually worked to be a helper on the delivery wagon. When I got old enough to get my drivers’ license, I took the job of being the delivery driver.
Dalton: Where was the Westside Store located?
It was kiddie-corner from the old Coalition Building, maybe down one-half a block.
Dalton: Was it on Park Avenue?
It was on Park Avenue. There were not very many stores in town at that time. There was the Westside store [Earl’s Market], and on Main Street there was the Palace store that was operated by Jim and Tony Polychronis and they had a partner by the name of Pete [Fardellis]. Later once Tony and Pete left, Jim wound up with his boys as the owner of the Palace.
The full name of the business was the Palace Meat and Grocery Company. It was owned by Jim Polychronis, with Tony and George Polychronis as partners. Pete Fardellis (Farthelas?) operated the business for them. In 1936, Jim became sole owner and his son, George, operated the business after his death in 1955. George later owned and operated the Mt. Air Market.
Up the road a little bit was the Star Meat & Grocery. There was Paul Brothers and Wilson. At one time, right across from the Egyptian Theater, the Silver King Mine had the King Store where their employees could go buy their groceries and the groceries were deducted from their pay. That closed up and that was the reason why my aunt and uncle opened the Westside Store because Uncle Earl had worked in the King store and Aunt Thelma was the bookkeeper. So that’s when they opened the store there. Up the road a ways Welsh, Driscoll, and Buck had a store they had some dry goods, groceries, and also hardware. Up the street a little bit just across from the Silver King Apartments was a little store called Pezely’s, a small grocery store. Then there were two or three little mom’s and pop’s places. Mrs. Pesola had one right up at the head of Main Street right at the turnaround. Down on Park Avenue there was one called Johnston’s Store. A couple of sisters, Johnston sisters, operated that. And then Mel Kidder had a store, a small grocery store, just to the north of that about a block.
Dalton: You said your family ran the Westside store. What were their names.
Earl and Thelma Reseigh. Earl was the mayor of the city at one time – in the 1950s. When the Westside Store decided they needed something bigger, they moved into the store that had once been the Safeway market, just below the Egyptian Theatre. My dad, when the mine closed, when he was out of a job, remodeled the basement and built a stairway and opened a little hardware store in there. There was another hardware store in town just above the old New Park Hotel that was owned by… an Italian fellow.
The full Howard Berry Oral History is available in the Park City Museum’s Hal Compton Research Library.