Thursday, June 7, 2012

Novakovich Meat Market

A. N. “Nick” Novakovich was married to Joseph Dorotich’s daughter Clementina.  They built a house on one of the new plats in the Town of Millville which was platted by Clementina’s mother and father, John and Josephine Novak and Samuel Jerisich in the June, 1888.  The house is still standing and is a private residence located at 3422 Harborview Drive.
Nick and Clementina Novakovich with unnamed daughter
You can see a picture of them standing on the porch.  The only change in the façade now is an upper balcony in place of the two windows.

Unlike John Novak and his family, Nick did not Americanize his surname, keeping with Novakovich.

Nick was a butcher, and at first he built the meat market on the north side of the house setback slightly from Harborview Drive (formerly Front Street).  It was a very busy shop during the time that he did business there. The building survived until 2000 when the house was renovated and a driveway was put in its place. However,  a sign from the shop hangs in the Harbor History Museum.

Clementina Dorotich was born December 25, 1889 and died September 5, 1920 and is buried at Artondale Cemetery.  Nick later married Antica who was born February 15, 1885 and died April 7, 1957.  Nick himself was born December 7, 1874, and died February 26, 1942.  Both he and Antica are buried at Calvary Cemetery in Tacoma, a Catholic cemetery established in 1905.  

In 1924 the St. Peter Bros'/S. P. Strout General Merchandise building caught fire and burned to the ground.  Martin Stanich bought the property with his brother Tony, rebuilt the building, and Nick, the butcher, moved his shop across the street into the new store on December 12, 1924.

There were several other butchers operating in and around Gig Harbor at the turn of the century including one in John Novak’s General Merchandise store a little further down Harborview where you now find The Harbor Peddler.  [We talk more about the Novak’s in a future blog.]  W. M. Munden's Choice Meats and Desmore’s Meat Market (formerly Mosher’s Old Stand Meat Market) were two others at the corner of Pioneer Way and Front Street.   Mosher reopened both a grocery and a meat market in the Novak Building (later the Harbor Inn) in 1925.  

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.


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  3. I would like to know if Novakovich was related to Novak? Are they the same family or different?

    1. According to, he came to US along and was not related to the other Novakovichs who Americanized their name shortening to Novak.

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