The Green Tea Room and other Pubs in Edwards
1930's - 1940's
by LaVerne H. Freeman
Clark Malady's memories of the public houses in Edwards are basically written as he as recalled them on 25 March 1984, during an interview requested by LaVerne H. Freeman, when he was age 82, in fairly good health and still possessing his great sense of humor.
Owning and operating taverns and hotels came naturally to Clark because his father, Andrew Malady, also had been hotelkeeper in Oswegatchie, Town of Fine, in earlier years.
He related that he came to Edwards in 1932 and bought the Tavern from "Tink" Allen (Allen and his brother, Bower Allen, owned a hotel in Harrisville). At that time, the Tavern was a restaurant called "Tinker's Tearoom", in deference to the laws against drinking alcoholic beverages. Clark renamed the business "The Green Tea Room", but sold a drink called "three two beer". This meant it had 3.2% alcohol in the brew.
(From another source, it was learned that "Tink" Allen had also tried to skirt the law of Prohibition under the guise of a restaurant, but was raided frequently. One incident in particular was remembered. A group of high school girls was walking home from the day's classes and as they were passing the Tearoom they saw the police throwing bottles of alcoholic beverages out an upstairs window that was on the side of the building. It is assumed that the proprietor was already taken into custody as the officers destroyed the illegal drinks).
When Clark purchased the building it only had the bar section so he built a kitchen on the back. The next year, in 1933, he added the grill room and the upstairs porch. Adding the grill room made his building very close to the next building to the west leaving only an alley of less than three feet wide causing a boundary dispute between Clark and the owner of the other building. No mention was made of the outcome of the problem between him and the Webbs.
In December 1933 the nation repealed the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) and voted to sell whiskey and stronger beer. However, in Prohibition times Clark had a number of exciting adventures running Canadian whiskey across the border to Edwards in cars, hoping not to get caught. He had to abandon eleven cars at different times during this period and run away from the police who were chasing the vehicle to catch him, then confiscate and destroy the whiskey. They also confiscated the cars. (This was told with a lot of chuckles as he remembered the episodes).
Once, he recalled, he tipped over the car. Four police officers got him out of the vehicle, righted the car with horses, then took the car and the load. One officer stayed with him and the other three went with the car. He got into the police car, slid out the other side and ran away through the field. The officer neither shot nor chased. When the car and load of whiskey were released to the government only three cases of the thirty in the load were turned over! (More chuckles as he told this one).
In 1936 he rented the Tavern to an O'Brien and moved to Gouverneur to run "The Owl". In 1939 Clark was married to Elizabeth Caulfield. Sometime later the couple separated and his wife ran the Tavern.
In 1944 Gertie Malady sold it to Doris Zaluski who operated it until 1965 when she sold it to Malcolm and Lura Hill.
Clark remembered the Hotel also, and his venture into that business. He recalled that "Junkie", Morris Rothenberg, owned it and got a license to sell, and serve on the premises, alcoholic beverages, under a Mr. Sheldon's name. He employed Mr. Sheldon to tend bar. Then in 1939 Clark came back to Edwards and rented the Hotel from "Junkie". Then since he now ran both the Tavern and the Hotel he oversaw having bands and floorshows in both establishments.
In 1942, when World War II had begun, Clark left Edwards and moved to Star Lake to work at the mines. He left Luella Ray and somebody whom he couldn't recall, running the Hotel. At that time the operator had to serve food to keep the liquor license. This requirement was satisfied by putting limburg cheese out on the bar on Saturday nights! ( This statement brought out a hearty laugh).
Also in 1942, having left Edwards, Clark was no longer interested in the Hotel so he sold the equipment to Bill O'Neil and Bernie Collins, while "Junkie" retained ownership of the building. In a year Bill bought out Collins. (Bill, one of five children, had come from Brasher Falls). Later Bill O'Neil, Clark believed, sold to Lawrence and Phyllis Tucker.
The American House was not very familiar in Clark's memory. He said that Mose Compo owned it, then it passed to his son, Fred, who ran it for many years before his sister, Malina, came to help. When Fred no longer ran it, Malina ran the bar by herself. The next owners were Stan Zaluski, older son of Doris Zaluski, and his wife, Phyllis Whitmarsh Zaluski. They bought it in 1971 and ran it until 1977 when they sold it to Malcolm and Lura Hill.
At that time of Clark's tenure in the Tavern, the law stated that if it was five miles from a liquor store, a bar could get a special permit to sell liquor by the bottle for off-premises consumption. Clark had one for the Tavern before there was a liquor store in the village Then, for a while, Gervaise Boulet ran a liquor store in the former Boulet's barbershop addition to the side of his father, Arthur Boulet's, grocery store. Boulet started the business while Clark was in Edwards, but it was closed by World War II because of the small volume of sales.
During this talk with Clark Malady, he also mentioned some of the other merchants in the immediate area of the village and these comments are available in a file for perusal by anyone interested.
Obituary of W. Clark Malady, dated February 28, 1985 ...
Inn Owner William Clark Malady Dies
STAR LAKE - William Clark Malady, 83, Main Street, owner of the Lake
View Inn, died this morning at the Clifton Fine Hospital.