CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
28 Haddon Avenue
Northwest Corner Corner of Haddon Avenue and Carman Street
28 Haddon Avenue was open as a saloon as early as 1892. Joseph Felden then was the licensee. John W. Sutton is listed in census records and in the Camden City Directories as operating the bar in the years 1914 through 1921. John W. Sutton appear to have been the business name of John W. Suthel, who is listed as the building's owner in the 1920 and 1930 Census. Suthel, or Sutton, depending on how one wants to think of him, was 82 years old at the time of the 1930 census. Also living there was his wife Stella, then 54, a son John B. Suthel, and John B.'s wife Margaret.
John W. Suthel was born in Delaware around 1848 to John and Welty Suthel. The Suthel family was in Camden by the spring of 1860. The surname Sutton seems to have originated when his brother James H. Suthel went off to fight during the Civil War. As James H. Sutton, he was a charter member of the Camden Fire Department when it went into service in December of 1869.
As John Sutton he was appointed to the Camden Fire Department in April of 1876, served for one year. He was then working as an iron moulder and living at 912 Howard Street. The 1880 Census shows him at 416 South 2nd Street with his wife Eunice. He lived at that address through 1883. In April of 1882 he was reappointed to the Camden Fire Department, and served for two years. John Sutton was living at 610 South 2nd Street and working as a boxmaker in 1884. He was still there in 1885, then working as an engineer for Samuel P. Wright & Company.
The 1888-1889 Camden City Directory shows John W. Sutton operating a bar at the corner of South 2nd and Line Streets. The 1890-1891 Directory shows John W. Sutton in the bar business at South 3rd and Berkley Streets. By the end of 1891 he had the saloon at 451 Berkley Street, which he kept through 1898. His brother James H. Sutton occasionally worked for him as a bartender.
There is no listing for John Sutton in the 1899 City Directory. The 1900 Census shows John W. & Stella Sutton at 604 Federal Street. He had remarried. His wife Stella was then 26, and there was a son, John B. Sutton. The Suttons/Suthels are not listed in the 1906 Directory, however, by April of 1910 they are living at and in business at 28 Haddon Avenue. The family was still at this address as late as April of 1930. John W. Sutton died on January #0, 1936 and was buried at Harleigh Cemetery.
By 1931 H. Roy Steele was in business at 28 Haddon Avenue. Within a few years he had acquired a nearby bar, at 560 Carman Street, and would do business through at least 1959 there under the name Roy Steele's Tavern.
Henry Roy Steele was born in Pennsylvania around 1885. The 1930 Census shows him living in Collingswood NJ with wife Georgina, daughter Edna, and sons Bruce K. and Henry Roy Jr. At the time of the Census, April of 1930, he was not in the bar business, which would indicate that he became involved shortly after that point, as he was operating the bar by the time the 1931 Camden City Directory was compiled. Roy Steele passed away before 1947. His wife and son Bruce remained in the tavern business.
The Camden Courier-Post newspapers reported in June of 1939 that Mrs. Delia Suthel had received a liquor license renewal for 28 Haddon Avenue, and the 1943 Camden City Directory shows a Stella Suthel at the location. I believe the "Delia" indicated in the news article was probably Stella Suthel, and that the Suthel family, who owned the building, had gone back into the active operation of the bar after Roy Steele had left.
When the next directory was published, for 1947, the bar had been named the Century Bar. Sidney E. Herold and Morrey Lachtman were named as the proprietors. The Century Bar remained in business at this location through at least 1967.
In June of 1967, a Marguerite DuRocher applied for the liquor license renewal, as president of Dobur, Inc. Other officers named in the application were Betty Davis of 1245 North 25th Street and Terrence Zakerowski of 2901 Polk Avenue, both in Camden's Cramer Hill neighborhood.
The property was razed in one of the ill-conceived urban renewal projects of the 1970s which did as much as the riots to devastate downtown Camden.
A New Jersey State Office Building, built around 1990, now occupies the site.
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