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Ambridge in Beaver County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Water Pump, Bank, Restaurant, Croatian Club

 
 
Water Pump, Bank, Restaurant, Croatian Club Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Wintermantel, September 13, 2022
1. Water Pump, Bank, Restaurant, Croatian Club Marker
Inscription.  This is an original Harmonist house. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the head of household was Andreas Kotrba (alternately spelled Gotterwa) (1807-1880), the boss blacksmith for the Harmony Society. According to John S. Duss (1860-1951), who lived in this house as a boy from 1870 until 1873, Kotrba persuaded his mother Caroline Duss (1831-1891) to move in to keep house. The "family” at the time also included shoemaker August Grüninger ("der kleine August,” meaning "the little August") (1816-1885), Christiana Aschinger (1811-1870), 13-year old Benjamin Loeffler, and 17-year old Lizzie Kropp.
The Ambridge Savings and Trust owned the building from 1926 until 1939. The bank company added onto the north side, removed the second floor to create a larger, impressive, monumental open space, and lowered the first floor to ground level. During this time, the Ambridge Savings and Trust merged with the Economy National Bank, which then occupied the building.
After a downturn in the banking business during the Great Depression, Anthony Pokrzywnicky set up a restaurant and night club named the Colonial Inn here, circa 1936. It was
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known as "The liveliest spot in town.” In 1939 Antonio and Jane Pazzanita bought the building and established the AP Oyster House. The restaurant served the local community for 25 years.
The Ambridge Croatian Club took over the building in 1964, moving from a previous location in town. Also known as St. Nicholas Lodge 304 of the Croatian Fraternal Union, the club closed its doors in 2012.
 
Erected by Ambridge Historic District, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Ambridge Rotary Club, Old Economy Village.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Rotary International series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1870.
 
Location. 40° 35.805′ N, 80° 13.83′ W. Marker is in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, in Beaver County. Marker is at the intersection of Merchant Street and 14th Street, on the right when traveling north on Merchant Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ambridge PA 15003, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Economy Hotel (a few steps from this marker); Distillery, Cider Press, and Laundry (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Blacksmith and Wagonmaker Shops (about 300 feet away); First Harmonist Church and Fire Department
Water Pump, Bank, Restaurant, Croatian Club Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Wintermantel, September 13, 2022
2. Water Pump, Bank, Restaurant, Croatian Club Marker
Lower Left Images

After the close of the Harmony Society in 1905 the house served as a rental for laborers of the American Bridge Company and the National Tube Works. The 1920 census lists three families of nine second- and third-generation Swiss and German people living in this house.

The Ambridge Croatian Club's Adult Tamburitzan group was known as "Ansambl Sveti Nikola," or St. Nicholas Ensemble, seen here in 1993.

Pugar siblings Andrew (1910-1999), Stephan(1898-1953), and Stella “Stana” (Zivic) (1906-1965) of Ambridge proudly pose with the American flag, crowned with ribbons offering their Croatian roots, sponsored by the family in 1916. Stephan Pugar immigrated to America from Blatnica, Croatia in 1905 with his mother. The younger siblings were born in the United States.

Frank C, Schwede, formerly of Toledo, Ohio, and James Huston developed a plan to change the house into a bank, seen here before 1929.
(about 500 feet away); Carriage House and Summer Kitchen (about 500 feet away); Harmony Society Church (about 500 feet away); Harmonist Church / St. John's Lutheran Church (about 500 feet away); Old Economy (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ambridge.
 
Water Pump, Bank, Restaurant, Croatian Club Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Wintermantel, September 13, 2022
3. Water Pump, Bank, Restaurant, Croatian Club Marker
Photo on Right

The water pump in front of the house was known the "Hotel Pump” because it sat kitty-corner to the Economy Hotel. It served as one of two town pumps; the other pump was next to the George Race House on Church Street.
Water Pump, Bank, Restaurant, Croatian Club Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Wintermantel, September 13, 2022
4. Water Pump, Bank, Restaurant, Croatian Club Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 15, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 15, 2022, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 85 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 15, 2022, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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