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Roulstons Grocery Store in Port Jefferson Sparks Memories in Locals

People shared memories on Patch.

People opened up their memory banks and shared their stories with us when we ran this photo from the historical archive of the Port Jefferson village website, asking people if they remembered Roulstons Grocery Store.

“I remember the store but we used the Rouston's in upper Port,” said Port Jefferson Station resident and history buff George Moraitis.

The one he remembered was in a different place in Port Jefferson than the one picture, located across the street from Wylan's Drug Store, where Moraitis says the Army and Navy store stands today.

“I went in there for Cracker Jacks and soda. Ten cent each,” he said. “Or if I was given only one dime I could only get one thing, it was the Cracker Jacks.”

Roulstons was a big chain of grocery stores that came from New York City back in the early 20th century when they had a warehouse in Gowanus, according to a Guide to Historic New York Neighborhoods.

Thomas Roulston – the son of an Irish immigrant – built the chain from three stores in 1888 to more than 300 stores in the five boroughs but he 1950s.

April Campbell Quiggle told us in response to a Facebook post that she thinks she remembered the store.

“I certainly remember Ottengers,” she said of the store next to Roustons on East Main Street. “I think this place had a garbage can full of penny candy. My friends and I used to go there with our allowance and buy fists full of bazooka gum and fireballs.”

Warren Handy also remembered the place but also for a business that was next door.

“My grandfather and great grandfather had a butcher shop in the left side of the store in the 30's and 40's,” he said.

Charlie Masone remembers the store being called  McMullen Roulstons when he went there.

“My dad called Mr. McMullen the ‘Robber Baron’ but my dad did have an account there so I always just got whatever I wanted,” Masone said.

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