In 1930 Drosos Alahuzos opened a wholesale sponge business in this wood frame warehouse, part of his family’s Philadelphia based business. After his death in 1955, another Philadelphia sponge dealer, George Kousaleos with the Gulf of Mexico Sponge Company, purchased the warehouse. He conducted business from there until the mid 1970s. Both the Alahuzos and Kousaleos families came to America from Kalymnos, known as “sponge divers’ island,” one of a chain of Greek islands in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Sponge Capital
John Cheyney, a Philadelphia native formed the Anclote and Rock Island Sponge Company in 1891. He purchased land on Bailey’s Bluff where hookers brought their sponge harvests to process and sell. Always the entrepreneur, in 1896 Cheyney hired John Cocoris, a Greek immigrant and sponge buyer to improve productivity in his company.