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Grape Belt National Bank finds and another history mystery

Buzzings from BeeLines

August 15, 2012
By Marybelle Beigh - Westfield Historian (westfieldhistorian@fairpoint.net) , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

In response to a recent BeeLines story, "Looking for Grape Belt National Bank, Westfield N.Y., Memorabilia," a series of email exchanges with Jason Beers resulted in his sharing photos of a recently acquired bank note from, and the charter for starting, the Grape Belt National Bank.

Beers gave permission to use copies of these images in BeeLines articles.

In addition, a question from Jason Beers, "BTW where did the Grape Belt Bank stand, anyway? (I mean where would it be today?)," led to a detailed search of all the resources to date. The only location information found was in the "History of Westfield, New York," Part 1, Chapter XI, in which Dorothy Hopkins Curtis wrote in 1952, "The Grape Belt Bank opened in the Kent Block January 2, 1924..." No number and street address is given in any of the articles or advertisements. The Kent Block, as of its construction in 1922, is still at 13 East Main Street, the white building currently housing Time Warner in 2012. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, a drugstore was located in the left side of the building and an unreadable name business on the right side, as seen in a postcard of that area of Main Street in Westfield. This may have been the location of the Grape Belt Bank. But if readers have any photos or photo postcards of the Kent Block 1922 Building, between 1924 and 1931, the years during which the Grape Belt Bank was in operation, contact the Westfield Historian as indicated at the end of this article. Thanks.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Pictured is a bank note, owned by Jason Beers, issued by the Grape Belt National Bank of Westfield.

A few days later, Jason Beers sent an email regarding some eBay finds, one of which was an old National Bank of Westfield coin bank he had purchased. It is similar to a coin bank John Paul Wolfe has in his collection of the National Bank of Westfield items. After sending a photo of Wolfe's bank for Beers' comparison to his recent acquisition, Beers recalled and reminded me Wolfe's collection also includes a Grape Belt Bank coin bank. In fact, that Grape Belt National Bank coin bank was run as a mystery photo in a BeeLines article last year.

Enjoy the photos of Grape Belt National Bank memorabilia. And again, if any reader has information or photos showing the location of the Grape Belt National Bank of Westfield, N.Y., during its seven-year operation, contact the Westfield Historian. Thanks for continued assistance in solving Westfield's "history mysteries."

Fact Box

Note, the office of the Westfield Historian is now located at 117 Union Street, in the small green building on the north side of driveway, across from the Welch Field Skateboard Park and Playground. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 a.m., or by appointment. The Westfield Historian phone number is 326-2457, and the email mail address is westfieldhistorian@fairpoint.net.

 
 
 

 

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