Anyone remember Henry Versheren's grocery stores in Pitt PA?

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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Anyone remember Henry Versheren's grocery stores in Pitt PA?

Post by apteafan »

I don't know if I have the spelling correctly, but Henry Versheren operated somewhat open air and enclosed grocery stores in the early 60's in locations near the entrance to South Park in the South Hills as well as along McKnight Road in the North Hills, Ross Twp section of the Pittsburgh area.

He was his own best advertiser. All ads included a photo and likeness of Henry. He sold lots of local produce and had great prices on groceries.
I think they lasted until the end of the 1960's.
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Re: Anyone remember Henry Versheren's grocery stores in Pitt

Post by bobsjers »

Wow!! Yes I do. I lived in the Pittsburgh area when I was in Junior High. I remember that Henry Versharen (not sure of the spelling either) found out it was cheaper to pay the fines than close on Sundays. Two other stores, Payday and Haines did the same thing, and were always in the news.

A few months before I moved out of the area, the store burned down. It was a very old building with exposed wood ceilings in some areas with bare incandescent bulbs. Other places had finished ceilings with fluorescent fixtures. I think it started as a produce stand, and he just kept adding on.

They had started to carve out the hill to make an even bigger store when I moved. I drove by the area 10 years ago, about 40 years after the fire expecting to see a new supermarket, but it was not there. I don't know what happened.

I also remember that Henry erected a circus tent complete with gas heaters and opened up in there immediately after the fire. Again, it was still there when I left the area, and not sure what happened.

Oddly enough, I think Haines had a gas exposion. I remember seeing the ceiling, still in once pieces with the light fixtures attached laying on the gondolas. I think they rebuilt, but not sure if they are still there. Probably not given the supermarket changes over the past 50 years.

I hope someone else can share some information.
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Re: Anyone remember Henry Versheren's grocery stores in Pitt PA?

Post by Sandy Dupree »

Henry Verscharen was my father. He started in business at 10 years old on Margaret Street in Mt. Oliver with a cart &donky going door to door.In his late teens opened a small grocery there. In the mid 40's he bought a few acres of the Rhodes farm on route 88 in Bethel Park, a few years later he purchases a piece on Route 51 in Brentwood. He was arrested and fined every Sunday under the "Blue Law" for opening his business. He took it all the way to the Supreme Court and won enabling all business to be open anytime.
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