Mystery solved

January 19, 2014
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Andy Brothers Tire Shop opened at the northeast corner of North College and East Walnut streets in 1933.
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Park Burroughs / Observer-Reporter
Washington Square Flower Shop now occupies the corner where Andy Brothers Tire Shop once was. Order a Print

We started to receive emails and phone calls about this week’s Mystery Photo before the ink had dried on Monday’s edition. However, most of the guesses about the location of Andy Brothers Tire Shop were wrong.

Rich Giecek of Washington came up with some definitive proof, though: a 1983 advertisement for the tire shop on its 50th anniversary, which contained the same photo. The ad, which was published in this newspaper, noted that the photo was taken in 1936 when the shop was located on the northeast corner of College and Walnut streets in Washington, where Washington Square Flower Shop is now.

The 1935 City Directory, however, lists the location of the tire shop as 322 West Chestnut St., where American Glass is now. So, could the information in the ad be wrong and the photo taken in, say, 1934? That’s not possible, because the automobile in the photo appears to be a 1935 Pontiac coupe. Perhaps the brothers ran shops in both locations for a short time.

Also confirming the College Street location was Connie Andy Marano. “That’s my father, Bennie Andy, on the left,” she said. “I know I have another picture of him in the same place.”

Marano said the man on the right is not Louie Andy, who operated the shop with her father and brother Patsy. “Louie was much shorter. I think that is another man who worked with them.”

According to Marano, the shop was not on College long before it moved to Chestnut Street, where the brothers were in business for many years. In the early 1980s, Ben Andy and his son opened another tire shop farther west on Chestnut Street, across from where Adams Pine Creek restaurant is now.

That’s where a number of readers thought this photo might have been taken. The design of the building was typical for gasoline stations at the time, which is probably why other readers remember seeing ones like it on Route 19 just north of Waynesburg, near Cross Creek, near Bavington, on West Maiden Street in Washington, at First Street and Euclid Avenue in Canonsburg, on Beallsville Road and in Connellsville.

Look for another Mystery Photo in next Monday’s Observer-Reporter.

Park Burroughs has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1972. He is the winner of numerous state and regional awards for feature, column and editorial writing. He is the author of two books, “Enter, With Torches: Recollections of a Grumpy Old Editor,” and "Washington County Murder and Mayhem." He retired in September 2012 but continues to contribute to the O-R’s news pages.

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