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Rote Confectionery Store - New Castle PA

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Alpheus “A.M.” Rote (1865-1936) (center of photo with apron), who was born near Harrisburg, came to New Castle as a young man and found work in the local tin mills. In about 1914 he opened a small confectionery store on West Washington Street near Greenwood Cemetery. Alpheus was married to Ella Ward back in 1883 and I believe they had six children together. One of his son’s, named John “Jack” C. Rote (1893-1982) and who managed his own confectionery store in downtown New Castle, later joined the family business. Together they co-owned several successful stores at different locations. (This photo is courtesy of Judy Stafford – the granddaughter of J.C. Rote) (c1930) Full Size

John ‘Jack’ Rote (shown above) took over the family business when his father Alpheus passed away at the age of seventy-one in September 1936. Jack Rote, a graduate of New Castle High School, married Alice Wimer and together they had a son named John. Jack consolidated and opened a single store in 1947 on Arlington Avenue just off East Washington Street. He soon renamed the store as J.C. Rote & Son, but his son John never really took an interest in the business. Jack’s nephew Arthur ‘Art’ Rote soon joined up as the ‘son.’ After Jack retired (sometime in the 1960’s) Art managed the business and was succeeded by several other family members over the years. (Judy Stafford photo) (c1920) Full Size

A group of unknown children pose in front of one of the Rote-owned stores in New Castle. (Judy Stafford photo) (c1920) Full Size

An advertisement announcing the opening of the J.C. Rote Confectionery Store on Arlington Avenue in late November 1947. (1947) Full Size

An older Jack Rote poses in front of his store on Arlington Avenue. I believe this store is still in operation today at Rote’s Market. (Judy Stafford photo) (c1955) Full Size


  1. Art Rote was Jack “John” Rote’s 3rd child and my father. He purchased the store from his father. Today the store is run by Art’s daughter Dale who purchased it from her older brother.

  2. My father’s name was Jack Rote. Named for his name’s sake. he passed away on 12/7/11 at 90. Not much was mentioned about his past. He served in WWII.

  3. Rote’s store on Arlington Avenue is where my friends and I bought our baseball cards in the early to mid-1960s. Sometimes we paid $2.00 (I think) for a whole box of them at a time! There was nothing like chewing that lousy gum and counting all the Marv Throneberry cards we got!

  4. I can’t count how many times I walked with my friends and sisters from Lathrop & Randolph Sts. to Rote’s to buy penny candy, pop, chips, popsicles, little boxes of pretzels and the like (let alone milk or bread). The young men who worked there added up the customer’s purchases in their heads. This was in the 1970s and 1980s. Back then you didn’t need many bottle returns to treat yourself. They also had some interesting comics and magazines; I bought a rock music mag with the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody when it was released. Many fun memories of Rote’s! Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos!

  5. Rote’s was a great place for popsicles—usually 12 flavors.
    Model cars and planes. In the 1960s, one could park his bike
    in front of the store, go in and make purchases and come back out and actually find his bike still there

  6. I’m the supplier of the photos, Jack’s granddaughter by his daughter Janet, and Dori’s cousin.
    My family mostly lived in the DC area when I was growing up, but we visited New Castle every summer. I loved visiting Grandpa’s store. If my memory is not failing me, when I was young several shelves of jars of penny candy greeted you when you entered the store. Grandpa always let my sister and me each pick 5 cents worth of candy whenever we went there. So many kinds of candy to choose from – a child’s dream come true!

  7. store has since closed and now out of business


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