River Wards: Then and Now, Old and New: A lifelong Bridesburg resident

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.” ••

You can reach at mjamison@bsmphilly.com.

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