On Saturday, July 30, 2011, as part of si350, the Tottenville Library hosted “Tottenville Memories,” moderated by John Grzeskowiak. In the two hours slotted for the program, attendees learned more about Tottenville in the best way possible: from the mouths of those who lived it.
I started this blog as a place to share from my years of research on Tottenville. My collection of information came from much time buried in books and searching on line, but the most valuable of the information to me was from former workshops I conducted, hearing from the people who made the history.
Then I attend this excellent event, and now know it’s time to divert from my files to explore and share the latest information I discovered.
Bill Marsh captivated me with his talk about the Hadkins Beverage Company, which his grandfather (James H. Hawkins) and father (William J. Marsh, Sr.) bought at the start of the depression in 1929, running it until his father closed the company in 1950. Bill would help working as a young boy, and by the time he was a teen he was out delivering soda to all parts of Staten Island and to Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
First, let me clarify. Even though the names are very similar, the Hadkins and Hawkins are NOT related.
Frank Hadkins, Sr. started the soda business in 1863.
His son, Frank Hadkins, Jr. inherited the business from his father, and hired James H. Hawkins as one of his first employees in 1893.
There is so much more to share with you from the discussion that day at the library, but I feel it best if you first watch the video clip put together from the event.
Here is the link to a 12-minute video of the discussions. After you watch it, please leave your comments.