When I was a young boy of an age old enough to venture off my immediate Manville block, I quickly realized that it would be much to my advantage to procure myself a bike. I pleaded my case to my parents and grandparents, and much to my surprise my grandfather quickly responded “Sure we’ll go down to Quigley’s tomorrow”. I think what I was hoping for was one of those little 15″ versions of a BMX bike, but when I got down to Quigley’s that afternoon what I saw scarred the hell out of me. There was a pile of bikes in the middle of the floor 3 times as tall as me. They looked mangled, and most of them bore the name Schwinn. I didn’t understand. I thought we went to the wrong store. But my grandfather assured me that “how dare I question this place… this is QUIGLEY’S. This is THE bike store.” He was right. And quigley’s outlasted every bike store that ever came to Manville, especially in reputation.
Lets’ take a look at a short history of the Quigley family as poached from Carmonsandusky.com
When Lester Quigley came to town in 1927 to take on the job of postmaster, his son George came along with the family and opened up his bicycle shop here. Young George had already been in business for a couple of years in Neshanic. His father had let him convert a chicken coop into a shop and had helped him put up a sign along Amwell Road — how else was a boy of 16 going to be taken seriously as a businessman and be able to get credit and buy wholesale. In those days the Manville Post Office was at the Johns-Manville plant. At first it was in A Building, and later the Asbestos Hotel. Lester Quigley in time became J-M employment supervisor, but son George did not want to work there, he kept right on with his bicycles.
For several years now I have been trying to nail down a timeline for Quigley’s. The store I remember was on Main Street and had been there forever. According to a newspaper article on the shop written in 1979 the store had been on Main Street for 39 years, which would mean he moved over there in ’40. I recently received a collection of photos from 1939, which depict the shop as being on the corner of Knopf and North 6th Ave, on the site which later became Al’s market. For a store that I actually physically remember I’m sad to say that I do not have any photos of the Main St. location. But these photos are great. The video above is from Petey’s Film made around the same time as these photos by the Semenick family. You will notice some characters in these photos are in the film, namely the adorable little girl, who has now been identified as Quigley’s daughter Antoinette! (thanks to the Mizerek family for the help!) Ok. Let’s get to some photos. They will expand if you click on them. Lets start with some shop photos…
I believe is the man George Quigley himself…
and finally, Quigley’s daughter Antoinette… who I actually fell in love with after looking at these.
If anyone can Identify these people please leave a comment. If anyone has any other Quigley’s (or any other Manville photos for that matter) photos, please submit them to Devildance@hotmail.com. These photos were submitted by Anne Sullivan. On behalf of everyone who views this blog, I thank her for these amazing photos.