Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Piggly Wiggly and more

Lori Thornton started a meme about the Stores of Yesteryear on her Smoky Mountain Family Historian blog. She suggested that genea-bloggers write about their memories of the stores from their past. The meme suggests these questions:

* What stores do you remember from the past that aren't around any more?
* Where were they located? (I know some of you moved around a lot.)
* What did the store sell?
* Do you have any special memories associated with those stores?

Even casual readers of Genea-Musings know that I grew up in the city of San Diego, on the block bounded by 30th Street (on the west), Hawthorn Street (on the south), Fern Street (on the east) and Ivy Street (on the north). Our apartment was at 2119 30th Street.

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Before my grandparents moved to Point Loma in 1951, my mother and grandmother would go to the stores at the corner of Fern Street and Juniper Street - one block north and one block east from our house. 30th Street jogs at Juniper, so that going north on Fern, you go smoothly onto 30th north of Juniper. After my grandparents moved, my mother continued shopping there until a new store was built nearby.

I couldn't remember the names of all of the stores, but I sure remember going to the Piggly wiggly grocery store. Amazingly, there is still a chain of these stores - see http://www.shopthepig.com/. I checked the 1950 and 1955 city directories for San diego to determine the names and addresses of the stores of yesteryear in my neighborhood. Here they are:

* 3004 Juniper Street (northeast corner of 30th and Juniper) - Burlingame Sundries - this was a typical "drug store" that had a fountain, a pharmacy and sold odds and ends

* 3014 Juniper Street - Piggly Wiggly grocery store - I was in this store many times (!) but can't recall specifics. I'm pretty sure my mother bought fruit, vegetables, cereal, eggs, dairy, and household supplies here. I'm not sure about meat.

* 3020 Juniper Street - Burlingame Barber Shop - every month my brother and I got butch haircuts from Mr. Haynes and later Mr. Roy.

* 3022 Juniper Street - Burlingame Shoe Service - my mother occasionally took shoes here for repair and re-soling.

* 3015 Juniper Street (southeast corner of Fern and Juniper) - Zoellner's Meat Market and Juniper Food's grocery - my mother bought meat here, but not much food as I recall. I do recall that the store had a great selection of candy and gum...

* 3019 Juniper Street - The Juniper Cafe - a hole-in-the-wall restaurant - I don't recall ever going there.

* 3021 Juniper - Grier's Bottle Shop - a liquor store. My grandmother (who had an alcoholic father) would never have even walked past this store!

* 3023 Juniper Street - Metro Cleaners - a dry cleaning store.

* 2201 Fern Street (northeast corner of Fern and Ivy) - E. W. Wrede & Sons - a furniture upholstery store.

* 2205 Fern Street - Cottage Bakery - bread, donuts and more.

* 2207 Fern Street - Rich's Dressmaking - a women's clothing store.

* 2209 Fern Street - Fern Street Beauty Shop - a hairdresser

* 2204 Fern Street (northwest corner of Fern and Ivy) - Gay's Place Cafe - a bar - my mother and grandmother would walk on the other side of the street.

* 2236 Fern Street - the Bonnie Bell Cafe - a bar and cafe.

* 2234 30th Street - San Diego Public Library branch.

* 2238 30th Street - Sunset Cleaners - my mother went here for dry cleaning.

* 2248 30th Street - Burlingame Hardware and Paint

* 2302 30th Street (northwest corner of 30th and Juniper) - Scotty's Television Service - a TV store in 1955.

* 2308 30th Street - Boydston's Dry Goods - a store selling cloth and sewing essentials

* 2312 30th Street - Burlingame Meat Market - I don't remember going here either!

Visiting many of these stores was almost a daily occurrence. As I recall, we had ice boxes in the 1950's and not refrigerators. We had milk delivered every day, and my mother bought fresh produce and meat every day at the stores.

For real "shopping" trips to a department store, my mother would take the #2 bus north on 30th Street to University Avenue (the sign over the intersection said North Park) and the J.C. Penney's store there. Or she would take the #2 bus south on 30th and then west on Broadway to downtown San Diego and go to Marston's Department Store, Woolworth's and Walker's Department Store.

My grandfather worked at Marston's at 6th and C Streets in downtown San Diego from 1905 (a cash boys) to 1961 (head accountant), and my grandmother worked there as a cashier for many years. Our family had an emotional attachment to Marston's!

My elementary school was south on 30th eight blocks at 30th and Ash Streets. On the way home, we often stopped at Krueger's (a five-and-dime store) at the corner of 30th and Beech, and at a small store on the corner of 30th and Grape Streets.

I wish that I had pictures of these places to show what they look like. I drove through the neighborhood several weeks ago, and most of the buildings are still there. The Piggly Wiggly store was replaced by a DD Williams Paint store in the later 1950s, the Meat market at 3015 Juniper became a five-and-dime store, etc.
About the time that the Piggly Wiggly store left the 30th and Juniper location, a Safeway store was built on the east side of Fern Street between Hawthorn and Grape Streets (one block east and south of our house). My mother walked there every day to shop, and since they had a larger store with more commodities, she rarely went up to the 30th and Juniper stores, except for the barber shop, the cobbler and the beauty shop.

Ah - the memories of my childhood. I wish I could remember more of them. I've posted about some of them in 30th Street Memories - Part 1 and Part 2.

1 comment:

wendy said...

Our area's 2 Piggly Wiggly's shut down around 5 years or so ago. The big supermarkets plus Walmart superstore edged them both out.