Out of the attic

This week’s Out of the Attic item is an undated sketch of Main Street looking east showing the building now known as Klondike Kate’s on the left. The sketch was published along with an historical narrative in a City of Newark Annual Report brochure in May 1981.

The accompanying text read:

“The restaurant known as Klondike Kate’s stands on property which is one of the oldest business locations in the City of Newark. A journal entry dated 1739 indicates that Ebenezer Howell owned and operated an inn called Three Hearts Tavern on the property at that time. Howell’s son Richard served as Governor of New Jersey and his great granddaughter married Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate Sates of America.

“The original building served as an inn and tavern under many proprietors until it was demolished in 1880 to make way for a new three-story structure. The new building, called the Exchange Building or the Center Building, had shops with large windows on the ground floor, office space and apartments on the second floor, and a large meeting hall on the upper floor. By 1880, Choate Street had been named and became the ninth street in town, joining Main, Academy and Chapel Streets, Elkton, Nottingham and New London Roads, and College and Delaware Avenues.

“Around the turn of the century, the Exchange Building property was acquired by Leonard ‘Pop’ Lovett, who used parts of the building for a pool room and a barber shop and, while serving as Justice of the Peace for Newark, as a courtroom and jail. Over the years, the hall on the third floor served as a meeting place for civic organizations and church congregations, a skating rink, and later, a moving picture theater.

“During the ‘20s, the Exchange Building became identified with the ‘horseless carriage’ as a garage was added where Howell’s stable had stood almost two centuries before, and gas pumps replaced the iron hitching posts on the curb. Auto supplies were sold by Joseph M. Brown at the location for 48 years beginning in 1929.

“After the building was sold in 1977, it was extensively remodeled and renovated and once again serves as an eating establishment almost 250 years after Ebenezer Howell offered ‘entertainment for man and horse’ at the Three Hearts Tavern.”

Visit the Newark History Museum located on South College Avenue beside the bridge. It is open Sundays from 2 to 5 now through November. Make appointments to visit at other times by calling 302-368-9845 to schedule. See the website www.NewarkDeHistoricalSociety.org. or contact their message phone 302-224-2408, e-mail at newarkdehistoricalsociety@yahoo.com, or postal mail to P. O. Box 711, Newark, DE 19715-0711.

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