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A history of Mortimer’s: One store, two lives

M. E. Mortimer's grocery and general merchandise store was located on Route 60 in Robinson.


When lifelong Robinson resident Robert Glass saw this old photo of Mortimer’s Store on Route 60, the memories came flooding back. Here are his memories, as shared with the Robinson Township Historical Society, in his own words:

In the early 1940s, my dad, William D. Glass, decided to leave the Glass Farm and the house where he had been born in 1901. The reason for the move was that he was switching occupations from raising chickens and delivering eggs to trying to make a living delivering coal in the area. He, my mother, and I all moved to Oakdale, for approximately four years, and then we had to seek a new home.

This store was owned by Charlie Mortimer, who was a friend of my dad's. and he agreed to let my dad convert the [vacant] store into living quarters. My dad, with help from relatives and friends, put a partition down the middle of the store, and also partitioned two bedrooms separated by a bathroom on the left side. The entire right side was left open and served as our living and dining area. At the end of the building was a wall that separated the existing kitchen.

My dad tried making a living by delivering coal for about seven years, but that ended when everyone started converting to gas furnaces to clean up the smoky city of Pittsburgh. With less need for coal and for various family reasons, we returned back to the Glass Farm and resumed raising chickens and delivering eggs.

To my knowledge, the store remained unoccupied until it was torn down [in the 1980s?]. The location of the store was on Route 60, across from what used to be called Chiodo's Plaza, which is where Peace, Love, and Little Donuts and Painting With a Twist are located today. When I saw this picture, it brought back many fond memories of a 10-year-old boy (76 years later) and the few years he and his family lived here.

– Robert Glass (used with permission)

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