Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Downtown Smells - Part One

In the 1950s and 60s there was a cacophony of odors that alternately caressed and assailed your nose as you walked or drove through Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

Some odors were confined to certain areas; others seemed to permeate the air and could be sniffed from almost any place in town. One of the most delicious smells that wafted its way up Garden Street towards All Saints where I went to school was that of Lockhart’s Bakery.
It was located on Backstreet, just a few blocks down from the school. They baked all manner of breads and pastries using a traditional wood/charcoal fired outdoor oven. Most everyone knows the warm yeasty smell of baking bread, of bread just pulled from the oven. There is something comforting about it. Now-a-days the closest most children might get to experiencing that kind of odor might be as they walk through the bakery department at a supermarket. But this is usually much too sweet, as they tend to bake lots and cakes, cookies, doughnuts and pies which are stacked in over abundance on counters and shelves.

Lockhart’s Bakery made pastries, but they baked more bread than anything else; long loaves of French bread, soft rolls and hard rolls, loaves of white bread, brown bread, and rye bread. There were several kids who regularly snuck out of school during lunch to run down to the bakery to get one of their hard rolls or buy a pie and then sell a slice to fellow students.

It was a sad day when the bakery closed its doors. If I close my eyes I can almost catch a whiff of wafting wraiths, the ghostly tendrils of fresh baked bread.


  1. Mmmmm. I have a taste for freshly baked bread. Heck, I'll take a sweet roll even :)

  2. What a great post and fun memory. My grandfather was a baker in a very old bakery and he'd always come home covered in flour.

  3. I love the smells in a smells comforting...Love your memories...Hugs..

  4. Ummmm, love the smell of bread baking. There is nothing better.

  5. I went through a bread-baking phase as much for the smell as for the taste. Wonderful, sensory post.

  6. I love the aroma of freshly baked goods. It pulls you right inside when you're passing.

    Sara Lee doesn't cut it. Packaged convenience is a trade off and I think we're getting the short end of that trade.

  7. My mother and grandmother used to bake bread ALL the time; a wonderful whole wheat/wheat germ bread that I absolutely loved. I can remember Mom beating the dough 300 strokes. No mixer, no electricty. I'd help her count. Talk about upper arm strength!

  8. Leading us around by the nose - great idea! I would love to live near a really good bakery. Nothing compares to fresh baked bread.

  9. I bake a lot too: muffins, cakes, pies. We grew up beating our cakes by hand too: 800 strokes, divided into 200 for each of us. You're right: this is a great way to develop upper arm strength. Kneading your own bread by hand is another good way to develop strength and burn fat, though perhaps it doesn't make up for all the calories consumed when you eat what you've baked...

    I LOVE the smell of bread baking. Whenever I walk by a bakery, I instantly feel comforted and happy.


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!