User menu


Main menu

Martel Street

1958 to 1967

"There was never any snow on Martel Street in the wintertime from the heat that rose up from the pipes...the Central heating system also used to heat Broughal..The pipes ran under the street." -John Iampietro, former resident

Many former residents fondly remember Martel Street as a location that was key to their childhood experiences. With both Central Elementary School and Broughal Middle School, the street was a constant destination for the area's children. In the 1940's and 1950's, the school district kept Broughal Middle School open during the summer to provide children's activities such as crafts and Ping-Pong tables. At Central School, each year, one lucky girl was chosen May Queen, and presided over a court of other girls in their fanciest dresses at the May Queen festival, which featured a parade, games, and food.

Do you remember going to the College Theater in your youth? Located at the bottom of Martel, the theater played a variety of films throughout the year.

At Martel and Fourth, across from Kametz's Funeral Home was the Graybar Lucas post of the American Legion. The post also featured a week-long picnic program that was open to the public and featured games and food.

Martel was primarily a residential street, with about 20 homes, both row homes and twins. Most homes did not have air conditioning, so in the summer life would revolve around being outside. During the day,neighborhood children would play ball at Broughal Middle School at the top of Martel and Packer Avenue. If they were not at the playground, they were running, roller-skating or biking between each others' front porches. Children played card games and dolls on their front porches, and families socialized in the evening there, as well. The street featured a variety of ethnicities who seemed to coexist harmoniously. Residents recall their neighbors as being friendly and helpful. Whenever anyone was ill, the neighbors would help out by sending over food or watching their children.

The photo on the right is a contribution from the Butillo family. This photo from the early 1940's shows the 400 block of Martel, looking toward Fourth Street. Central School can be seen on the right.

If you have memories or photographs of Martel Street, please share them with us! You can help us recreate the neighborhood and keep the stories alive! Return to the Tour Location Menu