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Joe "Mike" Alvarez, Spelter Merchant
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Ken Menendez



Joined: 14 Jul 2003
Posts: 108
Location: Overland Park, Kansas (formerly from Spelter, WV)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 1:26 pm    Post subject: Joe "Mike" Alvarez, Spelter Merchant Reply with quote

Joe Alvarez, nicknamed "Mike" and "Pinales", owned and operated what was known in the early 1900's as the Ziesing Recreation Hall, and later Joe Alvarez and Sons. This business consisted of three pool tables, two-lane bowling alley, bar, grocery store and a rented out space for a barber shop. Prior to WWII, he eliminated the bowling alley and barbershop, focusing on the grocery business and bar with one pool table. He operated this business for over 45 years, after coming to the U. S. from Asturias, Spain, in 1911.

The business was located next to the zinc factory, the doctor's office (building) and the Ziesing Grade and Junior High School. Across the street was the Standard Supply store (earlier name was Knight Brothers), his home, Ziesing Methodist Church and Holy Family Catholic Church.

Workers coming off the zinc factory day shift would stop for a beer prior to going home from work. During the summer months, men would sit on the outside benches and visit with each other telling tales and discussing work. Winter months would find them in doors doing the same. Women would shop in the grocery section and visit with one another while shopping. Spanish, Italian and English were spoken, as Joe Alvarez spoke the three languages.

Joe was born in Asturias on March 15, 1884, and died October 28, 1962, the son of Antonio Alvarez and Josephine Garcia. He was married to the former Viola Hickman, and had five children: Katherine (Menendez), Ruth Jean (Book), Joseph Jr., Donald, and Arthur.

Joe was one of five children. His brothers were Andres, who lived in Donora, PA., and Jesse who lived in Asturias. His sisters were Aurara (Gonzalez), Dammas (Bartha) and Pasqualla Alvarez, all of Asturias.

Viola's great, great, great grandfather was Sotha Hickman, one of the original settlers in what is now Harrison County, WV, coming from Maryland around 1771 with a land grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia.




Joe "Mike" Alvarez approx. 1930's



Standing left: Joe "Mike" Alvarez and right, his brother Jesse Alvarez. Sitting is Joe's wife Viola Hickman Alvarez. Picture aprox. 1914-16.

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Trans. Ana

Joe Álvarez, apodado “Mike” y “Pinales”, era el dueño y trabajaba en el Ziesing Recreation Hall, a principios de 1900, y después en Joe Alvarez and Sons. Allí, había tres mesas de billar, dos pistas de bolos, un bar, un ultramarinos y un local alquilado como barbería. Antes de la II Guerra Mundial, cerró las pistas de bolos y la barbería, centrándose en el negocio de ultramarinos y el bar, donde había una mesa de billar. Dirigió este negio durante más de 45 años, tras llegar a EE.UU. desde Asturias en 1911.

The business was located next to the zinc factory, the doctor's office (building) and the Ziesing Grade and Junior High School. Across the street was the Standard Supply store (earlier name was Knight Brothers), his home, Ziesing Methodist Church and Holy Family Catholic Church.

El negocio estaba situado cerca de la fábrica de zinc, de la consulta del médico y del Ziesing Grade and Junior High School. Al otro lado de la calle estaba la tienda Standard Supply (anteriormente llamada Knight Brothers), su casa, la Iglesia Metodista de Ziesing y la iglesia católica de la Sagrada Familia.

Los trabajadores que salían del turno de día de la fábrica de zinc se paraban a tomar una cerveza antes de irse a casa. Durante los meses de verano, los hombres se sentaban en los bancos de fuera y contaban historias y hablaban del trabajo. En los meses invernales hacían lo mismo, pero dentro. Las mujeres iban a comprar a la tienda y hablaban mientras hacían la compra. Como Joe hablaba español, italiano e inglés, en su negocio se hablaban los tres idiomas.


Joe nació en Asturias un 15 de marzo de 1884 y falleció un 28 de octubre de 1962. Era el hijo de Antonio Alvarez y Josephine Garcia. Estaba casado con Viola Hickman y tuvo cinco hijos: Katherine (Menendez), Ruth Jean (Book), Joseph Jr., Donald y Arthur.


Joe era el mayor de cinco hermanos. Sus hermanos eran Andres (que vivía en Donora, PA), y Jesse (que vivía en Asturias). Sus hermanas, Aurora (Gonzalez), Dammas (Bartha) y Pasqualla Alvarez. Todas vivían en Asturias.

Uno de los antepasados de Viola era Sotha Hickman, uno de los colonos originales del Condado de Harrison (Virginia Occidental), llegado de Maryland hacia 1771 con un documento de concesión de tierras de la Commonwealth de Virginia.



Joe “Mike” Alvarez hacia 1930



De pie a la izquierda: Joe “Mike” Alvarez. A la derecha su hermano Jesse Alvarez. Sentada: Su mujer Viola Hickman Alvarez. Fotografía de 1914-1916.


Last edited by Ken Menendez on Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:11 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Judy



Joined: 31 Jan 2004
Posts: 8
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 8:57 pm    Post subject: Joe Alvarez "Pinales" Reply with quote

As a child growing up in the 40's I spent a lot of time in Zeising with my grandparents, Roman and Ramona Suarez. They would send me to "Mike's" to pick up a few groceries. Every time I would go Mike would always give me a free ice cream (Dreamsicle). As I recall the store part was not very large and there were no aisles but it did have a meat case. Even though he knew my name, he always called me "Maria".
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Trans. Ana

De niña, por los años 40, pasé mucho tiempo en Ziesing con mis abuelos, Roman y Ramona Suarez. Me mandaban a la tienda de Mike a comprar comida. Siempre que iba Mike me regalaba un helado. Por lo que recuerdo, la parte del local dedicado a tienda no era muy amplia y no había pasillos, pero tenía un mostrador nevera para la carne. Aunque sabía cómo me llamaba, siempre me llamaba “Maria”.
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Ken Menendez



Joined: 14 Jul 2003
Posts: 108
Location: Overland Park, Kansas (formerly from Spelter, WV)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judy, I do remember your grandfather. Which one of Roman and Ramona children is your parent? I too grew up in Spelter (Ziesing) during the 1940/50/60's. I left Spelter in 1963. My dad's family, Joe and Carmen Gonzalez Menendez, also lived in Spelter. I have two uncles still living on the Menendez side (they are in the 80's) and I have been sharing this Forum information with them.

My aunt, Ruth Jean, used to help my grandfather in the grocery store. I don't know if you remember her or not. You are right, the grocery section was a single aisle with a meat case and a large cooler to store milk and vegetables. Behind the counter, typical of an old type store, were the other items, such as cereal, bread, ice cream, can goods and so on. During the mid to late 1950's I helped him in the store while in junior and senior high school. Also, he had a delivery truck for delivering milk and groceries within Spelter. Customers would call in their orders during the morning and my aunt and I would deliver the items in the afternoon.

"Mike" nicknamed the males "Mike" and the females "Maria". He was also a very generous individual helping many families in need. When he died in 1962, my mother kept a list of individuals, which I have, who attended his funeral or paid their respects, and it is extensive, well over 400 people, including your grandfather, Roman and Isaac attended. The list is fun to read as it list full of folks who came to the United States from Asturias or were the first generation born in the U. S.

Thank you for responding and sharing your memories with me and others.
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Trans. Ana

Judy: me acuerdo de tu abuelo. ¿Cuál de los hijos de Roman y Ramona es tu padre/madre? Yo también crecí en Spelter (Ziesing) durante los años 40, 50 y 60. Me fui de Spelter en 1963. La familia de mi padre, Joe y Carmen Gonzalez Menendez, también vivían en Spelter. Tengo dos tíos octogernarios por parte de los Menendez que aún viven allí y he compartido con ellos la información de este Foro.

My aunt, Ruth Jean, used to help my grandfather in the grocery store. I don't know if you remember her or not. You are right, the grocery section was a single aisle with a meat case and a large cooler to store milk and vegetables. Behind the counter, typical of an old type store, were the other items, such as cereal, bread, ice cream, can goods and so on. During the mid to late 1950's I helped him in the store while in junior and senior high school. Also, he had a delivery truck for delivering milk and groceries within Spelter. Customers would call in their orders during the morning and my aunt and I would deliver the items in the afternoon.

Mi tía, Ruth Jean, solía ayudar a mi padre en la tienda. No sé si te acuerdas de ella. Estás en lo cierto: la parte de la tienda tenía un solo pasillo con un mostrador nevera para la carne y una nevera más grande para la leche y las verduras. Detrás del mostrador, el típico de una tienda de ese estilo, estaban el resto de cosas, como los cereales, el pan, los helados, latas y demás. Durante la mitad de los años 50 le ayudaba en la tienda cuando aún estaba en enseñanza secundaria. Además, tenía una furgoneta de reparto para la leche y comestibles dentro de Spelter. Los clientes podían llamar para hacer sus pedidos por la mañana y mi tía y yo entregábamos la mercancía por las tardes.

“Mike” llamaba a los chicos “Mike” y a las chicas “Maria”. También era una persona muy generosa y ayudaba a muchas familias necesitadas. Cuando falleció en 1962, mi madre conservó una lista, que tengo yo, con el nombre de las personas que asistieron a su funeral o presentaron sus respetos. Es una lista muy extensa, de más de 400 personas, entre las que está tu abuelo Roman. Isaac también asistió. Es divertido leer la lista, ya que está repleta de aigos que vinieron a los EE.UU. desde Asturias o eran la primera generación nacida en los EE.UU.

Gracias por resonder y compartir tus recuerdos con los demás miembros y conmigo.


Last edited by Ken Menendez on Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tanyarm123



Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 3
Location: wv

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

does anyone know any thing about the spelter zinc plant ?
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Trans. Ana

¿Alquien sabe algo de la planta de zinc de Spelter?
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Terechu
Moderator


Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 1557
Location: GIJON - ASTURIAS

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loved those wonderful old pictures, Ken. You children of Spelter sound a lot like the characters out of "How Green was my Valley", only they had to leave their valley because the slag heap was burying the village and you are scattered throughout the country because the zinc works closed down. It's basically always the same, in the end we all yearn for the scenery of our childhood, to include all the people we knew who were a part of it, and we are overjoyed when we meet them again or find someone who knew them.
I guess we're all getting old and sentimental - Wink
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Me encantaron esas fotos antiguas tan estupendas, Ken. Vosotros, los niños de Spelter os parecéis a los personajes de "Qué verde era mi valle", sólo que ellos tuvieron que abandonar su valle porque las escombreras estaban enterrando el pueblo y vosotros estáis desperdigados por todo el país porque la fábrica de zinc cerró. Fundamentalmente es casi siempre lo mismo, al final todos añoramos los escenarios de nuestra infancia, incluyendo a las personas que conocimos y que formaron parte de ella, y nos ponemos contentísimos cuando volvemos a ver a alguno de ellos o encontramos a alguien que les conocía.
Será que nos estamos haciendo viejos y sentimentales Wink

Terechu
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bobV



Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 18
Location: Virginia (born in Moundsville, W.Va.)

PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While visiting my grandmother (Aurora Vasquez) and Uncle Joe, cousins Jesse (GooGoo) Vasquez and Ronnie Gonzalez would spend our pennies at the Alvarez store. Mike called all of us Pinales....and as I remember, the candy counter was too high for us to reach in. Mike would hand us our candy. It was a super treat when Uncle Joe let us "charge" an ice cream cone on the bill.
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Trans. Ana

Cuando visitaban a mi abuela (Aurora Vasquez) y a mi tío Joe, mis primos Jessee (GooGoo) Vasquez y Ronnie González se gastaban el dinero en la tienda de Alvarez. Mike nos llamaba a todos Pinales... y por lo que recuerdo el mostrador de los caramelos era tan alto que no llegábamos. Mike nos alcanzaba las golosinas. Era genial cuando mi tío Joe nos dejaba “apuntar” un cucurucho de helado a su cuenta.
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Rose Rosal



Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Grandfather, Jose Rosal emigrated to Ziesing, WV from San Cristobal, Oviedo in 1909 and worked in zinc as a "furnace man" (his words). He learned to be a barber in the Recreational Hall and later opened his own barber shop in NYC. My Father (Joseph) and Uncle (Angel) were born in 1913 & 1916 in Meadowbrook. I am not sure when the family left WV, but it was sometime after 1925.
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Trans. Ana

Mi abuelo, Jose Rosal, emigró a Ziesing (VO) desde San Cristóbal en 1909 y trabajó como calderero. Aprendió el oficio de barbero en el Recreational Hall, después de lo cual aprió su propia barbería en NYC. Mi padre (Joseph) y mi tío (Ángel) nacieron en 1913 y 1916 respectivamente en Meadowbrook. No estoy segura de cuándo la familia salió de VO, pero fue en algún momento después de 1925.
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Ron Gonzalez



Joined: 25 Nov 2004
Posts: 377

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Rose,
I had two Uncles that cut hair in Mikes store next to the pool room: Frank Vasquez and Anselmo Gonzalez. After a few years my Uncle Frank moved to Moundsville WV to open his own shop, and my Uncle Anselmo opened his own shop in Canton, Ohio.

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Trans. Ana

Hola Rose:

Tengo dos tíos que se cortaban el pelo en la tienda de Mike, cerca de los billares: Frank Vasquez y Anselmo Gonzalez. Después de unos años mi tío Frank se trasladó a Moundsville (VO) y abrió su propio negocio y mi tío Anselmo abrió su propia tienda en Canton (Ohio).
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Barbara Alonso Novellino



Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Posts: 324
Location: Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

H Ron,

I knew your Uncle Frank...

We called him Frank the Barber. My mother Angeline Montes dated him before her marriage to my Dad. When we would visit Moundsville in the summer, we always went by to say hello to Frank.

Small world isn't it...

Barbara
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Trans. Ana

Hola Ron:

Conocí a tu tío Frank...

Le llamábamos Frank el barbero. Mi madre, Angeline Montes, salió con él antes de casarse con mi padre. Cuando visitábamos Moundsville en verano siempre pasábamos a saludar a Frank.

Qué pequeño es el mundo, ¿verdad?

Barbara
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4471
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rose Rosal wrote:
My Grandfather, Jose Rosal emigrated to Ziesing, WV from San Cristobal, Oviedo in 1909 and worked in zinc as a "furnace man" (his words). He learned to be a barber in the Recreational Hall and later opened his own barber shop in NYC. My Father (Joseph) and Uncle (Angel) were born in 1913 & 1916 in Meadowbrook. I am not sure when the family left WV, but it was sometime after 1925.


Welcome, Rose!
Where did your family move to after Meadowbrook (Spelter)? My grandmother's family was from San Cristóbal, too.

Ron, is the Pool Room the same building as the Recreation Hall?

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¡Bienvenida, Rose!
A dónde se trasladó tu familia despues de Meadowbrook (Spelter)? La familia de mi abuela era de San Cristóbal, también.

¿Ron, se indica el mismo edificio la sala de billar y la sala de recreación?
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Ron Gonzalez



Joined: 25 Nov 2004
Posts: 377

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the pool room was on one end. It also had a grocery store and the next room was a bar were the men could buy and drink there beer. Then there was the barber shop with two chairs. We always called it the pool room, but before my time there were bowling alleys there also. At one time it could have be called the Recreation Hall, but as I said we always called it the pool room.
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Trans. Ana

Sí, la sala de billar estaba en un extremo. También tenía un ultramarinos y la siguiente sala era un bar donde los hombres podían comprar y beber cerveza. También había una barbería con dos sillas. Siempre lo llamamos los billares, pero antes también hubo bolera. Durante una época se llamó el Recreation Hall (salón recreativo), pero como ya he dicho, nosotros siempre lo llamamos los billares.
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4471
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boy, Ron, that's a lot going on in one building!

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Vaya, Ron, está edificio tenía muchísimas actividades.
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geaniegirl



Joined: 17 Mar 2008
Posts: 3
Location: OHIO

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:20 am    Post subject: Re: Joe "Mike" Alvarez, Spelter Merchant Reply with quote

My father is Fred Hickman born 1924. His parents are Fred & Dora Hickman. His brother is Richard. Lived in Spelter for about 40 years. Would like to hear from people that knew the Hickmans. My dads friends included Cesar Bango and Roy Muniz. They lived across from the Dr's office. My grandfather Fred worked in the Zinc Plant. Would really like to hear some stories.
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Trans. Ana

Mi padre, Fred Hickman, nació en 1924. Sus padres eran Fred y Dora Hickman. Su hermano, Richard. Vivieron en Spelter unos 40 años. Nos gustaría tener noticias de gente que conociera a los Hickman. Entre los amigos de mis padre estaban Cesar Bango y Roy Muniz. Vivían frente a la consulta del médico. Mi padre trabajó en la planta de zinc. Nos encantaría escuchar algunas historias y anécdotas.
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Ken Menendez



Joined: 14 Jul 2003
Posts: 108
Location: Overland Park, Kansas (formerly from Spelter, WV)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

to geaniegirl:
your grandfather, Fred Hickman, was my great uncle. I remember Fred and Dora very well, as well as Freddy and Richard. My maternal grandparents were Joe "Mike" Alvarez and Viola Hickman Alvarez. Viola was Fred's sister. My great grandmother, Susanna Mae (Palmer) Hickman (Fred and Viola's mother) lived with Fred and Dora for awhile in Spelter.

I used to see Fred just about every day (1950's) when the shifts changed at the zinc plant. Fred would stop at granddad's store. By the way, one of the memories I have of Susanna was her apple pies.

Always good to hear from a member of the family.
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Trans. Ana

Para geaniegirl:

Tu abuelo, Fred Hickman, era mi tío abuelo. Recuerdo muy bien a Fred y Dora, y también a Freddy y Richard. Mis abuelos maternos era Joe “Mike” Alvarez y Viola Hickman Alvarez. Viola era hermana de Fred. Mi bisabuela, Susanna Mae (Palmer) Hickman (la madre de Fred y Viola) vivió un tiempo en Spelter con Fred y Dora.

En la década de los 50 solía ver a Fred todos los días al cambio de turno en la planta de zinc. Fred paraba en la tienda de mi abuelo. Por cierto, uno de los recuerdos que tengo de Susanna son sus tartas de manzana.

Siempre está bien tener noticias de un miembro de la familia.
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Bob
Moderator


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1725
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every time a see a thread like this one, in which relatives and friends find one another, I am reminded that every hour spent on the forum has been an hour well spent. Thank you all for sharing your stories and your information.
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Trans. Ana

Siempre que veo un hilo como este, en el que familiares y amigos se encuentran, recuerdo que todas las horas invertidas en este foro han estado bien invertidas. Gracias por compartir vuestras historias e información.
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