South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Page's has been a favorite on South Side for more than 100 years

 

Page's Dairy Mart on East Carson Street at Becks Run Road had its start as South Side's first convenience store, selling laundry soap, Coca Cola, tobacco products and even ice cream to local mill workers.

A family favorite stop in South Side, the Page Dairy Mart has been selling ice cream and more in the same location for most of the last 100 years.

Charles "Chuck" Abbott Page, 64, has been working in the family business since he was 10 years old.

He explains his great-grandfather, Charles Butterweck, bought the property where the dairy mart stands now from Stella D. Hays and Louis B. Hays in 1916.

The Butterweck's opened a small store catering to mill workers on the site. In addition to selling Rieck's Pure Ice Cream, the Butterwecks sold tobacco products, laundry detergent, and Coca Cola among other things.

Situated at the corner of Becks Run Road and E. Carson Street, Mr. Page notes Becks Run originally met E. Carson on the other side of where the building now sits. He points to the building behind the shop on the other side of the train trestle saying it still carries a Becks Run address.

Old photographs from the time show a dirt road with tracks for a horse-drawn trolley. Without sidewalks, there was a boardwalk surrounding the property so people wouldn't have to walk in the mud when it was wet.

The Pages didn't always sell frozen treats, he points out. For about 30 years the family operated a Sunoco and Gulf service stations in the location. At times they also ran a diner and farmers' markets in the same area.

According to online sources, the Dairy Mart was built in the early 1950s. The building had to be rebuilt after a 1958 gas explosion.

Chuck is the fifth owner in the family of the shop. Following original owner Charles Butterweck were: Charles Alex Page, Charles Richard Page, Marjorie Page and Chuck.

He took on manager responsibilities in 1986 and became the owner seven years later. Chuck says all six of his children have worked in the show and his daughter, Marjorie Prusia, is currently the manager.

Chuck says they use products from Titusville Dairy to make their frozen treats. He said suppliers have told him Page's sells more ice cream than any other shop in Pittsburgh.

Recently the Pages decided to recreate a 100-year-old photograph. The photograph from 1918 of the original shop included John Taylor, Chuck's grandmother's sister's son; Emma Butterweck Page, his grandmother; Hanna Butterweck, his great-grandmother; and, George Butterweck, his great-uncle.

This year's photo included six generations of the Page family outside of the dairy mart.

 

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