Ghost Sign, Beacon, New York

Joseph O'Grady Plumbing and Heating

Walking through Beacon, New York I saw this ghost sign—the faded remnants of an old advertisement. I didn’t jot down the location, but I think it’s on the side of 398 Main Street (home now to Roosa and Roosa Law). It reads:

Joseph O’Grady

I think the white block below it has another word in it, but I can’t make it out.

Another remnant of the old Beacon, before it declined in the mid-twentieth century (and later reborn as an art centre), I wanted to find out more about Joseph O’Grady.

I found this in the September 15th, 1922 edition of The Plumbers’ Trade Journal:

The large contract for the plumbing work at Marianist College has been given to Joseph O’Grady of Beacon, N.Y.

In all, I found a good few references to Joseph O’Grady from the 1920s to 1931, which is when the sign was probably painted. At just the time I stop finding references to Joseph O’Grady in Beacon, I find one for “Joseph O’Grady Plumbing” in Far Rockaway in 1932. I’m guessing this is a coincidence—it’s an awfully long way to go, and there were many people with Irish names in that area. I also found a few Joseph O’Gradys in upstate New York.

While I wasn’t able to find out anything more about Joseph O’Grady, I was able to find out a little more about his family. He was married to Alice and they had a son, Joseph born in 1916. Joseph practiced medicine and moved to Kansas in 1961. Joseph junior passed away in 2006.

Joseph O’Grady Ghost Sign
398 Main Street, Beacon NY
Visible: 24/7

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About Richard

I am a writer who travels endlessly. Fascinated by how our lives are propelled forward by what's left behind, I thirst to know everything. I read, collect, gather, organise, list. Here are some of the things I read, see and experience. Please make yourself at home: drinks and pretzels will be served shortly. If you'd like to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you!

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