Hyman H. Bloch
began his retail business in Patterson in 1892. Block was a partner in
Adelson & Block, which also operated for a under the name, "The Bee Hive"
The store evolved into H. H. Bloch & Sons, and continued to operate from the building now known as #1 Front Street. The building still
stands on the corner of Front Street and NYS Route 311. Bloch sold general merchandise, including
clothing, dry goods, and shoes, and later into the 20th century added furniture, appliances, electronics, and heating and plumbing
products. In November, 1930, the store was the scene of a holdup that The Putnam County Courier described as follows:
"Patterson was deeply thrilled by its first real 'hold-up' late Saturday evening when two bold strangers
secured nearly $170 in cash and a like amount of checks from the store of H.H. Bloch & Son about 11:15 o'clock."
The paper reported that the Blochs were working late when two strangers entered the store and asked for directions to
Pawling. They left the store, and shortly thereafter, the Blochs locked the store and left for home. A short distance from
the store, they were stopped by the same two strangers, who forced the Blochs to unlock the store and open the safe.
The store was eventually operated by H. H. Bloch's son, Jacob, starting approximately in the 1940s. In November, 1947
Jacob Bloch traveled to Mt. Kisco to attend a showing of the new line of Tappan gas ranges. The November 20, 1947 edition of
The Putnam County Courier stated: "Mr. Bloch reports that the new models are beautiful and a wonderful improvement for the
housewife." In the late 1950s, Jacob Bloch was assisted by Charles Greenberg.
Jacob Bloch sold his store to Mr. and Mrs. Royce C. Hall on November 28, 1965, ending seven decades of a Bloch presence on
Front Street. The Halls, who lived on North Street in Patterson along with the Blochs, announced that they would
continue offering similar merchandise as Bloch's Dept. Store, and would make an effort to order anything that a customer
might want. Hall's Dept. Store would be open from 8 AM to 6 PM weekdays, and until 8 PM on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Halls anticipated extending the store hours for the Christmas shopping season. A formal grand opening was
being planned. Jacob Bloch had been in poor health, and the his business had not been doing well.
The Halls were no strangers to the Patterson business community. A few years earlier, the Halls operated Hall's Tackle Shop, which
was located two doors from Bloch's Dept. Store. They also owned the Holmes Country Store in nearby Holmes. At the time of their
purchase of the Bloch store, Royce Hall operated an insurance business in Patterson, which he planned to continue. Mrs. Hall would run
Hall's Dept. Store, and Royce Hall would assist her as time permitted. The Halls would own the building until 1979.
The building saw a variety of uses in the 20th century besides the store. The third floor had a stage, and was used for dances
and shows. Patterson Lodge #173, the "Odd Fellows", met in the third floor space in the early 20th century. For several years ending
in 1949, the Patterson Town Clerk had an office in the Bloch building. The Halls built two apartments on the second floor, and
Gil Wadle modified the space to make smaller apartments. Apartments were later built on the third floor.
Research completed in 1985 indicates that the building was built in approximately 1865 and was used as the C. Wing Saloon at
least as early as 1867, according to the map of the business area in the 1867 Beers Atlas. By 1876, the building housed the
Wing Brothers Store. The structure originally had an open porch, which was enclosed and converted into retail space. The date
of the enclosure is not known, but early 20th century photographs already show the enclosed space. The building was acquired by
Julius Adelson in the early 20th century when he moved his store, the Bee Hive, to Front Street. Adelson's partner and son-in-law,
Bloch, later bought the building and continued to operate the store alone. The 1985 research indicates that Bloch owned the store
at the turn of the century, and later sold it to
Nathan Richmond. That store is presumably the Bee Hive, and it is known that
Richmond and the Bee Hive were located on Main Street by 1917. After Hyman Bloch retired, the building ownership passed to his
son, Jacob, who continued to operate the store until 1965, when the store was sold to the Halls. The Halls bought the building in
1967, according to records in the Patterson Assessor's Office. The Halls sold the business to Terri and Dan Schutz in 1974, who
continued to use the Hall name. In 1979, the Halls sold the building to John Couri, Carl Raimerdes, C. Keller from Ridgefield
Connecticut. The Schutz's continued to operate the store at least until 1979. In October, 1981 the Assessor's records show that
the building was sold to Conant Realty, owned by Gilbert and Audrey Wadle. Audrey Wadle operated a variety store known as "Audrey's"
for a few years until her death. The store offered a mix of hardware, clothing, shoes, and gifts on one side of the store, while
the other side offered groceries and a large deli that was run by Gilbert Wadle. Gilbert was well-known in the community for his
cooking and food offerings at the deli. After Audrey's death, Gilbert Wadle became sole owner of the building and the store. The
business declined, and Wadle sold the building and store in 1995.
In September, 1915, Hyman H. Bloch issued this receipt to the W. O. Taylor, who
was acting as a trustee of the Patterson Grange.
The first photo may date from approximately 1920, as evidenced by the automobile on the lower left, the pole carrying electrical
and/or phone wires, and the style of dress on the passersby in front of the store. (The Patterson Historical Society) The second
photo is an undated postcard showing the store name as H. H. "Block". The awning shows the name "The Bee Hive",
which was the business Block (or "Bloch") operated along with his partner Julius Adelson as early as 1898. The store was known as
"Adelson & Block" and later as "The Bee Hive". The third photo was most likely taken in the 1950s when the store was operated by
Jacob Bloch. These ads (top to bottom) appeared in the Putnam County Courier on September 24, 1920, November 30, 1934,
November 22, 1935, and November 29, 1935. In April, 1931, H. H. Bloch & Sons issued this receipt for crepe paper to the Patterson Grange.
The back of the receipt displays an ad for the other Bloch-owned store, The Empire Store.
The next photo gallery features excerpts from the charge book of H. H. Bloch. As customers made payments, their bill was crossed
off. The charge book recorded transactions from December, 1918, through early 1919. While not of significant historical value, the
entries feature many names from the Patterson community of the early 20th century, and perhaps offer a glimpse into their personal lives.
The first excerpted page lists items purchased by A. L. Newcomb on December 9, 1918.
Newcomb was often referred to as "contractor" Newcomb, and built many of the buildings in the village's commercial area, including many
of the buildings owned by Jacob Stahl, best known as the owner of the cigar factory. Arthur L. Newcomb would later become the Putnam
County Sheriff and supervisor of the town of Patterson. The next page is from December 14, 1918, and features an entry for
Mrs. Charles L. Seeger. Mrs. Seeger was Constance Seeger,
and, in the following year, would give birth to a son who would become the famed folksinger Pete Seeger. The Seegers lived in the former
Matthew Paterson home, which still stands on NYS Route 311 at Cornwall Hill Road. The next page is dated December 17, 1918, and shows a
gasoline purchase by George Pfahl. Pfahl owned the Patterson Bottling Works, a manufacturer of soda water. The next page is from
December 19, 1918, and shows transactions for A. L. Newcomb, J. H. Schenck, owner of the
Patterson Market, which was located next to the
Bloch Store, and J. E. Carey, owner of the general store that was located on the corner of
Railroad Street (Front Street) and Center Street. The next page is for December 24, 1918, and has another transaction for J. E. Carey.
The next page, dated February 3, 1919, shows another transaction for Mrs. Seeger with the curious note, "Supplies at CA Moline", another
merchant whose store was located along the tracks near the Judd Building. Also listed is a
transaction for the Chase Rolling Mill Co. of Waterbury, CT. The final page is dated February 24, 1919, shows a transaction for
George "Phafl", a misspelling for "Pfahl". Also shown are transactions for A. L. Newcomb, and a gasoline purchase for the
Eaton-Kelley Co., which sold building supplies, coal and feed.
The next ad is for the 4th anniversary of Hall's Department Store, and appeared in the November 27, 1969 edition of the Courier.
Free fly swatters were the attraction when the next ad was published in the August 27, 1975 edition of the Courier. The Dickies line of work
clothes was featured in the next ad, from October 15, 1975. Hall's, now operated by Terri and Dan Schutz when the next ad appeared on
October 22, 1975, announces its first anniversary sale. Hall's continued to sell appliances, as had Bloch, as evidenced by the next ad
from October 29, 1975. The next ad, from June 30, 1976, was part of a series of ads tied into America's bicentennial celebration.
The last photo shows the building in the mid-1980s, when it was owned by the Wadles and operated as Audrey's. The name can barely be seen
on the awning.