Bewley’s bakery was popular | Lifestyles
GREENSBURG – Shortly after moving to County Decatur in December 1958, I learned that there was a bakery in Westport, “just down the street”, which was the best you could find. .
A friend, Nancy Stevenson Young, took me to Westport to prove how good it was. The baked goods we received that day proved that it is, indeed, a very good bakery.
I hadn’t thought about it in years, then a young friend, David Alexander, brought me a Bewley’s Bakery memorabilia book that had been made and memorabilia written by one of the girls. It was Anna Shireman, one of Lester and Stella’s three daughters, who composed the book of memories. So now, years later, we have the chance to experience this highly regarded Westport business.
It would be really nice if every family that owned a store in a small town had a family member who would write about it.
The album shows and tells the story of the bakery. It contains photos of the building and of some people from Westport. He indicates that Lester Bewley had a building built for the bakery in 1927. It was a combined building with the bakery on one side and the post office on the other.
The memory book contains the following paragraph: “Carl Davis (contractor), Mathews (who had the lumberyard) and Herbert Black (represented the government postal service) came to Greensburg to see how to construct a building on the land for the bakery and the post office on one side. Charlie Bishop made all the blocks of the building with gravel from Sand Creek. Ami Knarr and his dad stacked them. Carl Davis and others did the carpentry work. Jasper McCullough did the wiring and Wilmot Ricketts did the plumbing. ”The shop is pictured in George Cann’s book and the book of memory.
Now let me share with you something strange that I found in an old Greensburg Daily News from 1927. The headline read: “Rare ‘Ground Puppy’ found in Westport. August 2, 1927. Searching the site at the new Bewley’s bakery, one of the workers discovered a small ‘ground puppy.’ A Ground Puppy is a very rare species of lizard. The animal was displayed in the window of the Reidenback jewelry store. ” Maybe you know what a Ground Puppy is, but I definitely didn’t and had to research it. “… a soft-skinned species that lives under damp logs. Slimy, blue / white in color, resembling lizards in shape, known to be poisonous.” I read where a man dried and fed a puppy on the ground and gave it to his enemy’s horse.
Back at the bakery, the first loaf of bread was baked in October 1927. Mr. Bewley obtained some materials from a small shop in Milroy. The bread dough was cut, weighed and molded by hand, then put in the mold and baked. The bread was wrapped in wax paper, but it wasn’t sliced until later. The rolls were kept in the molds after being baked, then placed in the display case.
As time passed and the bakery attracted more and more customers, the building grew and Owen Wiggens made cookies. The author of the memory book wrote that even if other children liked cookies, she would choose a bun and eat it with nothing on it. She wrote: “In 1961, the last week the bakery was operating, I ate a dozen buns every night before going to bed with butter on them because I knew I would never taste them again. others like them. “
During the Depression, Mr. Bewley got the offer to provide bread for the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CC Camps). It kept the bakery open when people had so little money. The CC Camp program has enabled single men between the ages of 18 and 25 to enroll in work programs to help improve public lands.