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Banking on Riverside

Opinion: Kosey Corner

November 5th, 2019 12:54 PM

By Joanne Kosey

Columnist

There was a time when there were several banks in Riverside, but now just two remain -- Riverside Bank and First American Bank. I get confused, because what's now First American Bank for many years was known locally as Riverside Bank, though it was officially called First National Bank of Riverside.

Located on Riverside Road, which is what Longcommon Road becomes after you cross the tracks, (have I confused you yet? I will), First American Bank is located in what's known as the Driver Block, after an early Riverside resident who built it. 

The facade and the interior have undergone some changes over the years -- who can forget the big change with automatic drive-thru.

Prior to that you brought in your little brown passbook inside with you, and all transactions were performed by the teller. I never wrote in my passbook and don't know if I was allowed to -- I think it was a Catholic thing, like how you couldn't touch the host.

For many years, First National Bank of Riverside was the only bank in town. But, over time more banking establishments opened in Riverside, including Riverside Savings and Loan, operated by the Choutka brothers. The building went under various banking establishments until finally the last bank shuttered their doors leaving a vacancy on Harlem and Burlington.

Marshall Savings and Loan located at Harlem and Ogden, which came to Riverside in the late 1950s and was taken over by the state in 1965, was another story, well chronicled by Bob Uphues in the Landmark. It was not too long ago we said goodbye to PNC Bank on Burlington after undergoing many different owners.

Riverside Bank on Burlington Street was the former site of Riverside Electric, originally owned by Ted and Mable Osberg. The building remained an electric store under different ownership until it became a gift shop whose original owner was Dolores Earle.

Riverside Bank has become very established within the community and has become a welcome participant in many of the happenings within the village.  It is always nice to go in do your transaction, have a cookie (or two), a cup of coffee and read the Landmark while sitting by the fireplace. Have you ever gone in and not seen someone you know?

So from five banking establishments, Riverside is down to two banks and I don't think they are going anywhere. So shop local and bank local.

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet kept the goblins from seeking their treats. On Halloween, some 97 trick-or-treaters made their way to the Kosey house.

Veterans Day is Monday, Nov. 11. Check out the local schools and attend one of the fine programs honoring our deserving vets.

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