About a hundred years ago, Hawley, Pa. supported 13 grocery markets. Each one had their niche and they were scattered throughout the town. One of these was Michael L. Carney’s store, at 302 River Street.

HAWLEY - About a hundred years ago, Hawley, Pa. supported 13 grocery markets. Each one had their niche and they were scattered throughout the town. One of these was Michael L. Carney’s store, at 302 River Street.

The first recorded mention of the store that was found, however, states that Carney’s store was “on Main Avenue near Keystone.” This was in the 1912-1913 Hawley directory.

There was a grocery market at the corner, where PNC Bank is today; across Main Avenue in the Jos. Skier Building there are three storefronts. One of them may have been Carney’s.

The market appears to have originally been operated by Michael L. Carney, but the 1912-13 directory states it was in the hands of his widow, Mary A. Carney. The directory listed the business under “Grocers” as “Carney, Michael L.” It was also classified under “Cigars and Tobacco.”

Indeed, the 1912 street map of Hawley shows a tobacco shop at the northern end (left, as seen from the street) of the Jos. Skier Building. There was a jeweler in the middle, and right at the corner with Keystone was Skier’s dry goods store.

Several advertisements from 1913, carried in the Citizen newspaper (a Honesdale paper), near the “Down Hawley Way” column, described Carney’s market.

“Fresh every Friday. GREEN GROCERIES at Lowest Market Prices” said one ad, for “Carney’s Grocery & Candy Store” on Main Avenue. It adds, “There is only one first class line of candies-  The Red Band line. And Michael Carney’s is the only place in town where you can get them.”

Another ad, for “M.L. Carney” announced the availability every Friday and Saturday of oranges, bananas, lettuce and cabbage. Also: “Finest line of ten-cents-a-pound candies in Hawley.”

A news brief published June 6, 1913 stated that M.L.Carney has recently had Bell telephone installed in his business. An advertisement followed, that month, announcing, “Phone your orders for strawberries and pineapples for table or canning.” Fresh vegetables were available every day. Goods ordered were delivered promptly.

You could buy your latest newspaper here as well, surely The Hawley Times, The Citizen and The Wayne Independent, and perhaps others. The Citizen said you could buy it at M.L. Carney’s for two cents a copy. The Citizen had also arranged for subscribers to pay their bill at Carney’s store.

In August,Carney installed a “new and handsome glass cigar display case,” The Citizen’s Hawley columnist reported.

Thirteen grocers

Here is where one could stock up on groceries in Hawley, in 1912:
• Charles F. Baschon, Erie Ave. (Welwood) near Paupack
• Peter A. Bower, Main Ave. near Church
• Michael L. Carney, Main Ave. near Keystone
• J. F. Drake, Church St., near Bishop
• Herman R. Everding, Erie Ave. (Welwood)
• Frank Foster, Church St., near Penn
• Owen G. Mayne, Maple Ave., near Keystone
• Henry T. Richardson, Marble Hill
• Charles W. Rose, Main Ave.,near River
• Fred F. Swingle, Hudson St., corner, Spruce
• George S.Thompson, Main Ave., near Keystone
• Henry VonFranck, Erie Ave., near Paupack
• F.C. Patterson, Church St.,near Academy.

Moved to River St.

Meanwhile, Thomas F. Mangan was conducting a general store at 302 River Street, at the corner with Chestnut Avenue. Mangan’s father had started the business.

Thomas F. Mangan died in 1914.

At some point, Mrs. Carney relocated the grocery market to the Mangan location. It was so listed in the 1925, 1927 and 1931 business directories.

It may seem odd today to have a grocery off on a residential street, two blocks from Main. This was not at all unusual then.

The location at River and Chestnut would have seen a lot of traffic.

Just a block and a half up River Street was the old bridge over Middle Creek connecting with the Marble Hill neighborhood just west of Hawley Borough. This was the way one had to go if traveling from Marble Hill into downtown, or anyone heading up through Marble Hill towards Cherry Ridge and Honesdale.

Columbus Avenue did not connect between Marble Hill and Main Avenue at that time because it was still a large railroad yard. Near where Hawley Fire Hall is today there were several parallel tracks.
In addition, Chestnut Avenue, which heads past the Catholic Church, was a way to reach Wilsonville (present area of Lake Wallenpaupack). Today Chestnut is a dead end. Before the 1880’s this was the only way to travel in that direction from Hawley.

The family

Little has been found about Michael L. Carney. He and Mary had a son, Michael Leo Carney, who was born in Scranton, June 8, 1892. The 1906-1907 Hawley directory makes no mention of them. It appears they arrived between 1907 and 1912.

The 1920 census notes they lived at 218 Chestnut Street, with Mary’s two brothers, Patrick J. Lynch and Martin Lynch, and Ceila P. Lynch. John T. Lynch joined them by the time of the 1930 census.

Likely they were all siblings. Patrick and Martin were railroad workers; John worked at a silk mill.
Their parents had been born in Ireland.

The son, Michael, served stateside during World War I. He was a private. He was described on his draft card as medium build, slender, with blue eyes and dark hair.

Mrs. Carney was proprietor of the store in the 1920’s. Sometime by 1931, her son Michael operated the store with her, under the business name, M.L. Carney & Co.

He was wed to Clotilde F. (Lane); they made their residence near his mother, at 220 Chestnut. It appears they had closed or sold the grocery by 1935.

At some point the house at 302 River became fully a residence.

By 1940, Michael and his wife were living in Carbondale. He was a steward at a mental hospital, likely Farview State Hospital, which was nearby. They had two children, Eugene, and Mary A.

By 1942, Michael was operating Carney Gas Station, at 25 -8th Ave., Carbondale. They lived at No. 2 Terrace Street.

His mother was still living in Hawley in 1941.

Michael lived to 1965. Both Clotilde and their son Eugene had died two years before. Their daughter Mary lived to 2007.

No records have been found about when the elder Michael L. Carney or his wife Mary, died.


Main sources:
Hawley business directories
Newspaper records: Fultonhistory.com and Library of Congress
Census data, etc., Ancestry.com/Hawley Public Library