In all probability the oldest plumbing shop in this metropolis, the Sammon-Wigmore Enterprise, Gamwell Courtroom, went currently from the oldest energetic grasp plumber, Edward Sammon, to the youngest grasp plumber, 26-yr-previous Donald Harrington of 66 Grove Avenue, son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Harrington, 37 Union Street. This is Mr. Sammon’s 78th birthday.
The veteran plumber are not able to say unquestionably how outdated the store is but the closest he can figure is about 70 decades. He has been a single of its operators for the past 29 decades — all of it at the very same back again alley location off Columbus Avenue. He has been a plumber about 60 years. He started off as a carpenter’s helper to the late James Mellen, then switched to plumbing as an apprentice to the late Robert Canfield. Then he moved above to the Columbus Avenue segment and he’s been there at any time due to the fact. He labored for Parson & Sears which later on become Sears & Son and when Sears died, Mrs. Sears took above the business enterprise for six months. “When she observed that she couldn’t operate it,” Mr. Sammon recalls, “she bought out to Mike Wigmore and myself.” That was 29 years back. Mr. Wigmore died 8 yrs in the past.
If you go back again 60 several years, you can just about visualize how many countless numbers of Pittsfield persons can thank the veteran plumber for their bathroom services. “Why only 50 a long time in the past,” Mr. Sammon says, “even where by I stay now, I experienced an out property simply because the city sewers hadn’t run up to Onota Avenue yet.”
Mr. Sammon will convey to you there is very tiny big difference right now from the actual plumbing in homes but he is extremely definite in telling you that the plumber of now is only a “steamfitter.”
“Why,” he declared, “you cannot come across many actual plumbers remaining right now. How a lot of guys, for instance, will you discover who ever have celebration to wipe a joint. In people days, it was all direct function. Now all you obtain is steel pipes that are specifically threaded.”
Nevertheless in his shop are some illustrations of old joint wipings of direct pipes. He can bring you to hundreds of houses that he plumbed with guide pipes 60 several years back and the units are nevertheless in fantastic doing the job get.
Even while the store has changed palms, Mr. Sammon is heading to stay on for various months to show the “youngster the ropes.”
This Tale in Heritage is chosen from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.