CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
438 Arch Street
Southwest Corner of North 5th & Arch Streeets
John A Oetzel owned and operated a saloon at 438 Arch Street in Camden from 1888 to about 1923. He lived above the bar with his family, and also rented rooms there. As the saloon was across Arch Street from the firehouse at 5th & Arch, Oetzel's saloon must have been a popular stop for members of Camden's Fire Department. Family legend has it that Walt Whitman was a well known customer of the edtablishment.
John A. Oetzel's family was from Eisenach what was the Hesse, in Germany. Eisenach now lies the the Germany's State of Thuringia. After living in Philadelphia, John A. Oetzel moved to Camden around 1885, living at 120 Danenhower Street and working as a cabinetmaker. Around 1888 John Oetzel bought the saloon at 438 Arch, where he would lived and do business until around 1922. The 1920 Census shows him at age 63, a widower, living with son John A, then only 16.
John A. Oetzel shows up a having a saloon at 438 Arch in City Directories though 1922. He then appears to as residing at 438 North 8th Street until his death on February 12, 1941.
438 Arch Street does not appear in City Directories after 1922. An aerial photo of Camden taken in the mid-1920s shows a vacant lot where the bar had stood. The circumstances of John Oetzel's leaving 422 Arch Street are not known at this time.
Camden - 1928
500 Block of Market Street,
Unit Block of North 5th Street,
400 Block of Arch Street, 400 Block of Federal Street
A little more than halfway down the picture and Directly below the "Number 4" that is on the Stanley Theater at Broadway & Market Street, cam be seen the intersection of 5th and Arch Streets. The vacant lot on the lower left corner of the intersection was where Oetzel's Saloon had stood u until a few years before this photo was taken. The old firehouse can be seen on the other side of Arch Street, as can the Central Trust Bank building at the corner of 4th and Federal, at the bottom of the picture.
Of all the buildings that lay between Market and Federal Streets, and between 4th and Broadway when this photo was taken, only the Central Trust uilding and Cooperson's Auto Body (not visible in this picture, are still standing in 2004. Only a few buildings visible on the north side of Market Street and the Public Service building now used by the Camden Free Public Library remain in use today.
2nd & Main Streets - 1925
Danenhower Street is visible. It runs between 2nd and Front Streets, South of Main.
It begins between the two light colored buildings visible on the far side of 2nd Street.
Most of the homes on that block of North Second and on Danenhower Streets are still standing in 2004.
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