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Reply to "Old New York"

RJR posted:

Joe F, when were you a Mounty?

Hello RJR

I was a Mountie at Mt St Mikes in Sept. 1955 thru June 1958 -- when I left for a school on Park Avenue a few blocks from my Manhattan home.

When I first went to the Mount I took the Lex. Ave. Subway in Manhattan north and changed to the Bronx 3rd Ave EL at E.149th St Station...and took the Bronx portion of the 3rd Ave "EL" to its Gun Hill Road Station terminal,  where I went to the upper level to again ride the same route-line (White Plains Road EL) to Nereid Ave. Station to get to the Mount.  I did this because the 3rd Ave EL had just a few months before (on Thursday, May 12, 1955, 7PM.)  had permanently stopped all service below E. 149th Street, Bronx, south  to Chatham Square Terminal.  The 3rd AV EL was still standing abandoned in Manhattan by Sept. 1955 but was being dismantled,  including the EL station on my Block.

Of Note!!:  The section of lower Bronx EL from Harlem River edge and to and from E.133rd St to E.149th St (The "Alley" double-decked EL from 133rd to 143 St Stations) was kept active but NON revenue -- as then the only physical way to turn back trains south of the E.149th St "new south terminal" station until the track X-overs switches and signals at the north end of the then "new" Terminal -- could be installed and put in service. That was done by late 1957.

But I could still ride my old friends of 6-car trains of wooden EL cars  ( MUDC's and those Q Types) on the remaining Bronx portion from Friday May 13th, 1955 until the wood cars were replaced completely by Dec. 16, 1956,  by 6 car trains of steel ex-subway Low-V Steinway Cars.    Other times I just took the Lex Ave - White Plains Rd trains direct to the Mount - and back.

YOU were up in the Mount around 1950 to 1952 I think you stated --   therefore you know the neighborhood "look and feel and character"  that I described from my 1955-1958 period up there.  The sort of country-suburban aura of the area. Very quiet, safe, crime free and civilized way back 60 years ago !! I use to hang out at the IRT EL E. 239th St  Subway-EL yards by the gate at the north end of Barnes Avenue, and chat with the friendly gate man.  He even let me inside a few feet past the gate to see and take pictures of the wooden El trains stored there at their track bumpers.  Sometimes I went to the north end of the adjacent Byron Ave to see the trains stored alongside the shop building.  I had a school pal who lived at 4400 Wickham Ave whose apt. house I visited  also faced Barnes Ave.  Most all of the streetlights were those ancient 1910 era iron pipe with curlicue scroll supports fixtures attached to wooden utility poles

I was at the Mount  when the enclosed brick 2nd floor "walkway bridge" being built between the Main Head-house building and the Gym-Cafeteria.  I saw the construction daily  from start to end -- I think it was started in 1957

Another pal, schoolmate, was Robert Mayer,  whose dad owned the huge Mayers' Parkway Restaurant & Caterers on E.233st down the hill west from the EL station there at White Plains Rd.  Had many after-school snacks and "late lunches" there with Bob.  That famous restaurant and catering house finally closed down I think in the very late 1990's, perhaps into 2000 or so. A Multi level garage building is now on the site. It has a Facebook site.

I have visited the mount countless times between the 1960's to just a few years ago !  Here are my 3 yearbooks from the Mount -- all in mint condition !

regards ! - Joe F

1956 Mt St Michael Yearbook1957 Mt St Michael Yearbook1958 Mt St Michael Yearbook


Images (3)
  • 1956 Mt St Michael Yearbook
  • 1957 Mt St Michael Yearbook
  • 1958 Mt St Michael Yearbook
Last edited by Joseph Frank
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