SoWe Store Stories: 604 Manor St., Henry Breiter (1882)

This article is part of a series of posts from SoWe Volunteer Historian Jim Gerhart about the stories behind the stores on Old Cabbage Hill.

The two-story brick house and store at 604 Manor Street was built by Henry and Anna Mary Breiter in 1882, and it was owned by the extended Breiter family for its first seventy years. It was built on the fourteen-foot-wide southwest edge of Bethelstown lot 21. The other forty-eight feet of the lot’s frontage on Manor had been taken up by the construction of New Dorwart Street in 1881 when a small stream was buried in an arched brick sewer to make way for the new street.

Henry and Anna Mary built the narrow building at 604 Manor for use as a cigar factory. They lived on the second floor above where the cigars were made. Henry Breiter was an interesting character. He was born in Germany in 1830, immigrated to New York City in 1854, and settled in Lancaster in 1865, after serving in the 55th New York Volunteers in the Civil War.

Henry married Anna Mary Scheetz shortly after arriving in Lancaster, and for a while, he owned a cigar factory on Water Street. He also owned several other properties in the city and was a partner in the building of a hotel on South Queen Street. He bought Bethelstown lot 22 on Manor Street and built a cigar factory in the backyard, which burned down in 1877. In the late 1870s, the courts forced him to sell some of his properties to settle some debts.

Apparently, Henry had a short temper. In his first two decades in Lancaster, he had numerous run-ins with the law, including being charged with assault and battery several times. Henry was not a guy you wanted to provoke—he also was an officer and competition-winning member of the Germania Sharpshooters.

Anna Mary’s life ended disastrously. On the day after Christmas in 1900, at 604 Manor, she fainted while carrying a large pot of boiling water, spilling the water and scalding the left side of her body. She died a couple of weeks later of blood poisoning as a result of her burns. A little more than two years later, her husband Henry died at age seventy-three.

Anna Mary’s younger brother, Lorentz Scheetz, and his wife Ada, took over the cigar factory after the Breiters died, and lived on the second floor of the building. By the mid-1910s, Lorentz had modified the front part of the first floor at 604 Manor, adding a store where he sold the cigars that he was making. The angled doorway and the display windows near the corner of the building probably date to the mid-1910s, as does an overhanging cornice, now modified, that wraps around the corner of the building.

Henry L. Breiter, Henry and Anna Mary’s son, and his wife Minnie, operated the store for their uncle Lorentz Scheetz starting in the late 1910s and moved into the second floor of 604 Manor with the Scheetz’s. Lorentz eventually moved his cigar-making business to 47 Dorwart Street, where he continued making the cigars that Henry L. and Minnie Breiter sold in the store.

In the 1920s, Henry L. took a job as an inspector at Hamilton Watch Factory, and his wife, Minnie, took over the operation of the cigar store, adding candy to its inventory. Henry L. died in 1947, and Minnie continued to run the store after his death. Minnie apparently diversified her business: In 1951, the store was raided by the police and Minnie was arrested for taking bets on horse races. She served a month in the county jail for bookmaking.

Just as her mother-in-law, Anna Mary, had met a tragic end at 604 Manor during the Christmas season, so did Minnie. In the week before Christmas 1953, the building at 604 Manor caught fire. Minnie was discovered unconscious in her bedroom above the store and had to be rescued out of a second-floor window by a fireman. She died three days later as a result of smoke inhalation.

In 1954, following Minnie’s death, the store and house were sold for $21,200 to Anthony and Jennie Caterbone, who opened a branch of DeLuxe Cleaners in the store and rented out the second floor as an apartment. The cleaning business was in operation until 1975, and then the Caterbones leased the store to Zangari’s Pizza Parlor until 1980, when Louis Zangari bought the house and store from the Caterbones for $43,000.

Zangari’s Pizza Parlor was in business in 604 Manor until 1991, when the building was purchased by Lance Newswanger for $64,900. Newswanger opened Cabbage Hill Steak & Subs in the store, but within a year he changed the name to Three Adelphia Pizza & Subs, which was in business until 1998 when Newswanger sold the property to Anthoula Papadimitriou for $80,000. About 2006, the business in the store grew with the addition of another enterprise—Hit the Spot Pizza—to the continuing Three Adelphia business. The upstairs part of the building continued to be a residence, sometimes a rental and sometimes where the owner or store proprietor lived.

After Anthoula Papadimitriou’s death, her estate sold the property to Thomas Haines in 2008 for $110,000. Average Joe’s Pizza replaced Hit the Spot in 2010, and then in 2013, Par Café was added to the mix. In 2016, J&J Mofongo Restaurant opened, joining Par Café and Three Adelphia in the store. Then, from 2017 to the present, J&J Mofongo Restaurant has been the sole business in the 141-year-old store at 604 Manor, with Gabriel De Jesus owning the building until it was purchased by Dustin & Gary LLC in 2022.