Maplewood History: The Wedge, Route 66 and Reller Chevrolet Revisited

First exhibited on Dec. 4, 2013 all of the photos that accompanied this blog post then had somehow dissipated into nothingness.  Given the recent interest in the Wedge and EJ Tire I decided to reload it.  Or perhaps since this is an article about a tire seller I should call this post a retread of the original.

For those of you who know nothing about retreads, I can tell you I had a few.  Retreads were or maybe are a rebuild of a tire that is worn out.  New rubber with the treads cut into it is somehow attached to the carcase of an existing tire.  I remember them as being the cheapest tires one could buy.

Although they look pretty nice when you put them on your vehicle, I recall it didn’t take too long before the newer rubber began separating from the old.  Sometimes the entire recap would fly off as you drove down the highway.  Retreads seemed to disappear about the time of the introduction of radial tires.  Ah the good old days.

This retread of my original post hopefully won’t fly apart while you’re reading it.  I have improved and enhanced it a bit by adding more photos.  Enjoy.

The Wedge, Route 66 and Reller Chevrolet



14 thoughts on “Maplewood History: The Wedge, Route 66 and Reller Chevrolet Revisited

  1. I enjoyed the article on the “wedge” in Maplewood. The pictures were before my time but I do remember the automotive business at that location. I started kindergarten in 1954 and had to learn my phone number, HIland 2865. Seeing the HIland number on the delivery vehicle brought back memories of my six digit party line family telephone.

  2. Thank you, Doug. Great article. At some point my father’s family lived on the second floor of the Wedge. My Aunt, Garnet Fischer, was born there. That would have been around 1914-1916 – just before E.J. Tire was established.
    I believe the building to the east of the wedge on Manchester (seen from the aerial view) is where Ollie’s Signs was located during the 50’s & 60’s. Ollie Ott (?) was a sign painter who hosted a daily gathering of the old timers. I was often sent to Ollie’s to pick up paint or fetch my grandfather, Charles Fischer, Sr. The place always smelled of paint and cigar smoke.

    • You are welcome, Jim. Was the Wedge still a saloon when your father’s family lived above it? This is some interesting information you have just supplied. We tend to be a bit romantic when contemplating the “good ol’ days”. Smells are powerful triggers of the memory. I wasn’t even there and I can almost smell the paint and cigar smoke. Thanks for the mental imagery. Also thank you very much for the box of historic newspaper clippings, photographs and other stuff that you have given us. I predict many more blog posts will come from that box.

      • Glad to contribute. I never heard mention of a saloon. And my brother pointed out that it was actually Elliot Signs.

  3. Doug, thanks for the info on the brothers and their fame. I had no idea but do remember seeing the old guy on the bike and seeing him around town. Never thought too much about it since I usually only saw in as I was going somewhere as was he. Now I wish I had spoken to him.
    Does make me wonder who else we have in town that is a war hero, an author, an inventor, has other interesting stories to tell. And who today will be making history years from now.

    Thanks for keeping it alive. Besides you finding this stuff is there anyone else doing this in Maplewood that you know of? Seems like a good project to do some video recordings of some of the older generations before we lose more. It could be a school project to interview folks and record their thoughts. Or maybe a Channel 9 type project. For that matter you could be interviewed and tell all you know that you haven’t revealed yet.

    • Mark, there is no one that I know of here in Maplewood other than myself that collects stories and information from our older residents. And I’m doing precious little of it. These folks are disappearing every day. When they do their lifetimes of experience are lost. It ought to be a project in every community to tap the wisdom and experience of their older residents. Videos and audio recordings of them should be made but these should always include a transcription. If the content is not transcribed very few of them will ever be seen or heard again. The average person just doesn’t have the time. I have been interviewed several times. What happened to the information garnered during the interview? I have no idea. I have asked for copies but don’t remember ever receiving any. Thanks for your compliments.

  4. I wonder how they took the picture of the Wedge from the air. Hot air balloon, ladder fire truck,
    what? It also looks like there are porches on the back of the building? Were there tenants on the 2nd floor?
    Do you know why or when the building came down? Makes me wonder about the triangle buildings that we have a few of still in town. The one that comes to mind for me is down in the city on Virginia. Used to be known as The Stork Inn and was supposedly built by the Busch family for the workers at the brewery for child care. Those triangle buildings are so unique that it seems a shame to have lost one.

    • Mark, I agree that it is a shame to lose a triangular building especially one with such a strong historical identity like our Wedge. I do know how the building came down and you will too after my next post.
      The Wind family lived in the apartment above their tire store. Elmer Wind Jr. was born there.
      The aerial photo was most likely taken from a small airplane. Take a look at my post about Syl Beletz and you’ll see one he or his brother, Frank took from their Funk airplane. The link is below. Thank you very much for your comments and questions.

  5. You could save a lot of photos on your web site if your subscribers could save to their files.. I’d love to show folks but it won’t work

    • Well, J.Butler, this is something that I know nothing about. I imagine that folks can save screenshots or use the snipping tool in Windows if they want to save these posts in their computers or other devices.

      • I’ll figure it out, all I gotta do is get one of my Daughters to show me.. but there in Denver!!! Keep up the Great Work!