BY PEGGY DEE — City officials and residents gathered on Thursday, Aug. 25, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Queens Chapel Barber Shop, located at 3108 Hamilton Street. Customers from all walks of life who frequented the shop were in attendance for the celebration.
Celebrated persons in attendance included Harry Clifton “Curley” Byrd, past president of Maryland University; Mr. Tingley, Postmaster of Hyattsville; Perry Wilkinson, past Speaker of the House of Delegates; Harry Shaw of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission; Carroll Beatty, past School Superintendent for Prince George’s County; Paris Glendening, former Governor of Maryland; John Moylan and Morgan Wootten, of DeMatha; and Robert Armentrout, former Mayor of Hyattsville.
Mayor Candace Hollingsworth and members of the city council were there as well. Mayor Hollingsworth presented a congratulatory certificate to the present owners. There have been four owners of the shop since its inception: Carl Taliferro, Gus Masincupp, Lin and Tina Nguyen.
Seventy-five years ago when the shop opened in 1941, World War II was in progress. The old DC Transit buses traveled along Queens Chapel Road taking residents to the Avondale bus terminal, where commuters would board the buses going into DC. At the bottom of Hamilton Street, where the West Hyattsville Metro Station is now located, stood the old Palmer Ford dealership. Mr. Palmer was also a customer of the Queens Chapel Barber Shop. The barber shop was considered the neighborhood social center.
Many long-time customers gathered to share fond memories. Randy Hamas, a Hyattsville native, has been a loyal customer since 1955. Hamas said he still remembers the .5 cents Coca-Cola machine and the wooden telephone booth. Alan Jones has been a steady customer for 64 years; and Jan Sanderson shared special memories of the shop. Sanderson said she used to accompany her grandfather to the shop. Frank Key, of 32nd Avenue, said he remembers being in the shop as a toddler with his father, Melvin Key, who has been a barber at the shop for 50 years.
A commemorative banner now hangs outside the barber shop in recognition of the 75 years of the shop’s existence.