Teresa Pyott, who lives on Edgemont Street.
Teresa Pyott said she has many memories of Bridesburg, some more striking than others.
“I saw Franklin Delano Roosevelt riding down Richmond Street once,” she said, her face lighting up.
While that indeed is a more memorable community event, Pyott recognizes all the history of Bridesburg, and she should know — she helped organize the Bridesburg Historical Society.
Her family has always lived on her block in Bridesburg, on Edgemont Street, and she moved there herself in 1955.
“This block was very special to our family,” she said. “I’ve always been around Bridesburg since I was born.”
One thing that’s true about the community, she said, is that things haven’t changed much.
“It wasn’t too different [years ago],” she said, adding that it’s always been, and still is, very much like a small town.
“I couldn’t walk a block without knowing someone here,” Pyott said.
Born in 1929, Pyott said she remembers clearly the aftermath of the Great Depression in Bridesburg.
“I remember people coming and taking away my mother’s washing machine because we couldn’t pay,” she said. “But even without much money, we were just happy here. There was just something about it.”
She explained the manufacturing history of the neighborhood and the industrial giants like Rohm & Haas and Allied Chemical, each that emitted their own distinct smells.
“I used to think I’d write a history of the odors of Bridesburg,” she said with a laugh. “But you put up with it, because you knew it was making a living for your family.”
Pyott said she hopes to see development that would open up Bridesburg to the Delaware River, as well as more green space and parks in the neighborhood. Still, no matter what, she said one thing’s for sure.
“I love Bridesburg,” she said, “Without qualification.” ••