Four Corners Inn's former owner dies

November 16, 1992|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Staff Writer

Abraham Goldberg, who owned the popular Four Corners Inn at the crossroad of Jarrettsville Pike and Paper Mill Road for four decades, died Oct. 29 at his home in Monkton of diabetes.

Private services for the 89-year-old Cockeysville native will be held Wednesday.

"No horse, no cow, Four Corners Corral," was the original motto of Abe Goldberg's gas station and lunchroom which, after repeal of Prohibition in 1933, became a tavern as well.

A few years later, he added a night club in the basement where bands and acts from Baltimore's Club Charles would unwind into the wee hours of the morning.

He was the son of Russian immigrants who owned and operated A. Goldberg & Son, a general store in Cockeysville on York Road. Mr. Goldberg attended a one-room school in Cockeysville and ended his formal education in the sixth grade.

However, it was his purchase of the gas station and lunchroom for $4,000 that launched his career as a restaurateur and genial innkeeper, a man who every year celebrated St. Patrick's Day by offering a 17-cent corned beef and cabbage dinner.

"Everybody in the neighborhood came to eat dinner there," recalled his daughter, Mickey Schneider, in a 1980 interview. "They all brought guitars, harmonicas or whatever," she said. "They didn't come just for dinner, they came for the entire evening."

The basement night club in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s became a destination for the denizens of the night who refused to go to bed and would drive out of the city to the country to continue the party at "Goldberg's," as the club also was known.

In the late 1920s, Mr. Goldberg boxed for the Young Men's Hebrew Association and won a Maryland State Boxing championship. He always had a punching bag hanging outside the Four Corners, which he used daily, and enjoyed teaching others how to box. Long before it was fashionable, he jogged the back roads to keep in shape.

In 1960, Mr. Goldberg allowed a troupe of local actors to use his tavern to perform "The Drunkard," a play about the evil of drink. The play was so successful that it ran for the next 14 years.

In 1972, Mr. Goldberg sold the business and retired to his home in Monkton. The Four Corners burned in 1980. The Manor Shopping Center now occupies the site.

He was honored in 1981 when the local baseball fields were named in his honor. For years he supported Jacksonville area teams with equipment and uniforms.

In the mid-1950s, he was a founding member of the Jacksonville Volunteer Fire Department and would make sure that coffee and sandwiches awaited firefighters returning from late night calls or difficult fires. In 1925, he married Mae Montgomery Hill, who died in 1953.

He is survived by his daughter, Mickey Schneider of Monkton, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The family suggested memorial donations to the Jacksonville Volunteer Fire Department, Box 255, Phoenix, Md. 21131.

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