During the 1930s and 1940s, Mary and Louis Fuchs ran the Frick Park Confectionery and the adjoining Mary’s Tea Room on Reynolds Street in Point Breeze. The Tea Room was a popular hangout for locals, who would congregate over tea, snacks, and beers. With the onset of World War II, the Fuchs were deprived of many of their regular customers, as the young men in the neighborhood joined the armed services. To keep the servicemen’s spirits up, the Fuchs began encouraging their patrons to write to their neighbors, who were serving at military training camps across the nation. Every Thursday night, the Fuchs provided pencils, paper, envelopes and stamps to their customers. As an unofficial Point Breeze postal hub, the Fuchs also forwarded correspondence from soldiers who did not know where their friends were stationed.
A selection of these letters and postcards, many addressed to Mary and Lou themselves, can be found in the Fuchs Family Papers and Photographs. The correspondence contains descriptions of life in the training camps as well as longings for Duquesne beer. The collection also contains images of the Fuchs’ sons, Louis, Robert, and Ronald, at the Saint Joseph’s Junior Military Academy, a Catholic boarding school formerly located in Pittsburgh’s Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood.
In 1941, the Fuchs took over of the Frick Park Market in 1941, also located on Reynolds Street. They soon closed the confectionary store and tea room to focus on the new business, which would be run by the family for the next sixty years.
View finding aid – FA_Fuchs Family_MSS_580