- Jun 26, 2020
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I dug up fragments of this stoneware jug and pieced them back together. The jug is incomplete but has a fascinating history. It was made for H. C. Bohack Co. which was a family owned chain of grocery stores founded in 1887 by German immigrant Henry Christian Bohack.
Henry C. Bohack:
Bohack was born in 1865 and arrived in the US in 1881 from Hanover. In just 5 years of arriving he purchase his first grocery store on Fulton Street in Brooklyn. He wasn't content with just one store and soon opened a whole chain across all the boroughs of NYC.
The first store on Fulton Street in Brooklyn. The jug may have once been housed within this location:
Through to the 1920's Bohack also opened gas stations and restaurants integrating his supply chain like a well oiled machine. His grocery stores supplied cheap produce to his resturants and his gas stations fueled his fleet of trucks.
But all this success was brought to an end during the Great Depression. All the resturants and gas stations closed and Bohack died of a heart attack at the age of 66 in 1931. Only the grocery chain stayed afloat.
His children inherited the grocery buisness and managed to keep it going until the economic downturn of 1977 when it was forced into bankruptcy and shuttered its doors forever. Many people in NYC still have memories of shopping at Bohacks as it was a very family oriented place. In the words of Henry Bohack, "Our desire and aim is to furnish the very best of merchandise at all times and we will gladly receive any complaints and replace any purchase which is in any way unsatisfactory. We want to give you quality, quantity, service and satisfaction at all times."
I don't think I will ever find all the pieces to this jug, but I will keep digging and see how it goes. With any luck the base will be down there somewhere.
The information for this post was sourced primarily from: https://classicnewyorkhistory.com/history-and-memories-of-bohacks-grocery-stores/