Mohawk Avenue, Scotia = Main Street, U.S.A.

Mohawk Avenue Scotia.jpgAnother great postcard of Scotia, N.Y., from the Boston Public Library collection. This depicts Mohawk Avenue (State Route 5) looking west on one of the main commercial blocks of the village, sometime in the 1950s. On the left is Swire’s Department Store, one of the greatest little catch-all department stores of all time. I waxed nostalgic about it a decade back, at length, and concluded that its free cardboard boxes were perhaps its greatest gift to teenage boys with time (and matches) on their hands.

Further down on the left, the Scotia Cinema, still there to this day and doing better, in fact, than when I was a kid. Beyond that, the smattering of insurance businesses and drugstores (Dorf Arsmedic!) that made up the avenue.

The blank block wall of Swire’s, by the way, opened onto the tiny car lot of Scotia Dodge, whose showroom was across the street. Just this side of that tiny lot was the Hometown Bakery, whose incredible scents no doubt stopped this scene’s photographer in his tracks. (These cards were photographed, then painted; it was the style at the time, and it’s a style I wouldn’t mind seeing come back.)

So on the other side of the street, as I said, was Scotia Dodge. I guess now it’s Scotia Motors. Just past that, Empire food market, which was a number of other things through the years; I remember it as the short-lived Food Circus. (Who wants a food circus?) Foreshortening beyond that makes the steeple of the First Baptist Church appear closer than it actually is.

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