CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
PETER C. VERGA'S SALOON
11 Market Street
PETER CLEMENT VERGA was born in Macclesfield, England on November 23, 1850 to Peter F. and Sophia Verga. The family came to Americas sometime after 1857. Peter F. Verga was a well-known person in his day, being involved in a number of business including that of a retail grocer. He had other skills, as shown when in 1866, when land was needed to be bought in Moorestown NJ for the construction of a new Catholic Church. Because of strong antipathy toward Catholics at the time, Peter F. Verga was brought in to negotiate the transaction. When asked what use he had for the land, he responded that he was acting as an agent for one who would open a business of repairing souls. Thinking only in terms of a shoe repair shop, the seller readily signed over the deed. And so in the Summer of 1867, a brick church was built in the heart of the village of Moorestown. Peter F. Verga moved back and forth between Gloucester County and Camden from the time of his arrival in America. In 1870 The Peter F. Verga was living in Greenwich Township, and was operating a liquor store. Peter C. Verga, the 20, was a clerk in the store. Peter F. Verga finally built a large estate near Paulsboro. The Verga neighborhood in West Deptford Township bears his name, as do the Berga Fire Company and the Verga United Methodist Church.
Peter C. Verga was living at 11 Market Street as early as 1880. When that year's census was taken, he was married and living their with his wife and sons John, Laurence, and Peter.
The Camden City Directories for years falling between 1887 and 1891 reveal that Peter C. Verga had established a liquors business at 11 Market Street. He by the had bought a home at 122 Pearl Street. In these years he was also involved in a wool cutting enterprise. Peter C. Verga was still in the saloon business as late as the summer of 1904 at 11 Market Street.
Peter C. Verga and his wife still resided at 122 Pearl Street at the time of the 1920 Census. This property was taken for use in the construction of the Delaware River Bridge, known today as the Ben Franklin Bridge, in the mid-1920s. Peter Verga does not appear in the 1930 Census, although two of his sons, and daughter do, living in Haddonfield NJ.
The block where Peter C. Verga's Saloon once stood was acquired by Eldridge Johnson, and was the home of the Victor Talking Machine Company for many years. In 2003, after extensive renovations, this building is the home of the Victor luxury apartments.
The 3 story building to the right is N.J. Auto Supply, a New Car and Truck Dealership, which was located at Delaware and Market Street from 1908 to 1942.
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