What's Historic About Brookville, Pennsylvania?

The DeMotte Garage
"A Life of Service"

By Tiffany Bickle

Mr. Albert "Cuffy" DeMotte, like the garage he created, is something of local institution. Mr. DeMotte and Brookville, grew up with the automobile. In 1922 he built the DeMotte Garage in Brookville at a time when many people were still using horse and wagons in this area.

He is one of Brookville's well-known "characters." He took his name from his youth when he had to fight a larger fellow to cross the bridge to town. Following his service in World War I, he fell in love with auto racing and owned one of the first motorcycles in the town. He also operated a jitney service.

His first garage was on Madison Street but his permanent home was on the corner of East Main and Taylor streets. In 1927 he built the largest automobile garage in the area on his own. He had the assistance of his father, Arthur DeMotte, who grew up on the plans, but not his full support. Arthur wanted his son to make the garage smaller.

DeMotte was one of the few garages to supply towing service for motor trucks. He also furnished parts for the various vehicles he sold; Packards, Macks, International, and Checkers.

It was his dedication to service that allowed Cuffy DeMotte to stay in business for three-quarters of a century.

Generations of county residents passed by the familiar light in the window that said it all. Nestled between the Packard and Checker signs was the simple name in neon, "DeMotte."

Cuffy retired recently and the garage, complete with its original parts inventory, tow trucks and untitled cars, was sold at an auction in June of 1997.

The light in the corner is out now, but the warm memories of the DeMotte Garage will always remain.

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