(EDITOR'S NOTE: Avery $ Drycleaners was a family business in Williamsport from 1928-1958.)
In 1926, Leal Raymond Avery and his brother, Harland Wesley "Bake" Avery, were given nearly $5,000 from their mother, Harriet "Hattie" Avery to help start Avery $ Drycleaners in Williamsport.
The main plant - the present day Bull & Barrel Tavern along High Street - was built in the winter of 1926 and operations began Feb. 8, 1927.
Within a short time, the Avery brothers owned and operated 12 different stores throughout the Williamsport area. The executive office was attached to original plant around the corner at 705 Wildwood Blvd.
Avery was successful for the next 30 years. In its heyday, the cleaners did tremendous business and, according to a newspaper article from 1948, the 336 W. Fourth St. store saw 1,100 customers in one day.
The business was passed on to Leal's son, my grandfather, Roland "Doug" Avery, in 1942 and he operated it until 1958. He sold the business and moved to San Diego that year.
In 1942, Leal retired to Florida with his second wife, Marcella Ann Schwartz - they divorced in 1958.
By 1961, Leal had gone blind and was being cared for by his then-divorced wife, Sophia. He passed away in March 1963.
Harland and his family moved to Los Angeles in the 1950s. He passed away in 1970.
Roland "Doug" Avery and his wife, Betty MacMichael Avery, lived in San Diego until her death in April 1985. Doug then moved to Central America briefly before returning to San Diego in 1995. He returned to Williamsport in 2000 and lived here for three years before passing away in September 2003.