CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
SONS OF ITALY
ORDER SONS OF ITALY OF AMERICA
GRAND COUNCIL OF NJ
1324 Mechanic Street
The building at 1324 Mechanic Street was known for over 50 years as Mechanic Hall, and was the home of the 13th Ward Republican Club. In April of 1964 the building was put up for sale. The liquor license was renewed in June and the building was finally sold in early 1965.
By June of 1966 a social club with the unlikely name of The Lost Seagulls of Stockholm Sweden Inc. occupied the premises. The Lost Seagulls officers were, in June of 1967 Thomas Moraca, Rocco DiPalma, and Peter Del Grande. Directors included Moraca, DiPalma, Del Grande, Emileo DiMatteo of 1058 Kaighn Avenue, Camden; and William Moraca of Woodbury NJ. Both Del Grande and DiMatteo had interests in other bars in Camden at the time.
The Lost Seagulls were still using the building as late as June of 1971. In August of that year, the Alighieri-Garibaldi Lodge 494 of Sons of Italy of the Order Sons of Italy of America Grand Council of NJ applied for a liquor license for 1324 Mechanic Street. The Sons of Italy and the Order Sons of Italy of America Grand Council of NJ were both located there from 1971 through 1977.
In 1979 James Waters and John S. Wilson, trading as La Bona Casa, applied to have the liquor license previously applied to Kelly's Cafe on State Street transferred to 1324 Mechanic Street. This business did not last long, as in 1980 George and Ellen Clarke applied to transfer the license that had been used by Edward Hoff at 702 South Second Street since the early 1950s to 1324 Mechanic Street. The new bar was called called Bacchanal. This business was still operating as late as February of 1983, but appears to not have made it through the end of the year.
In 1986 and 1987 Floyd Caston operated a bar at 1324 Mechanic Street known as Club Elite. By 1994 the building had been abandoned..
My father was a member and spent a lot of time there. It later on taken over and made a social club called The Lost Seagulls of something or other. My father took me in the 13th Ward Club for my first official drink when I turned 21.
'Lady D' Hayney
Thanks to Dolores 'Lady D' Hayney for her help in creating this page.
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