Sunday, December 28, 2014

Holiday Shopping a Century Ago . . . Continued

Here is the continuation of a new Hudsonian's account of the delights of Christmas shopping in our small city, which appeared in the Columbia Republican on December 26, 1914. A suitable subtitle for this part suggested itself: Real Housewives of Old Hudson.

Having had the benefit of one day's experience in the shopping district of Hudson, of which I told you yesterday, I started out bright and early the next morning for the bargain district. Keeping my infallible guide the Morning Republican with me, I lost no time in reaching my starting point. I had arranged to meet several friends at various places and therefore I knew the first part of my shopping must be done quickly if I wished to be on hand at the appointed time.
I made one brief stop before reaching Warren street at the store of M. W. Snyder on Columbia street. Hundreds of times I had passed this place never dreaming how cheaply oysters could be purchased as well as potatoes and other vegetables in quantities. My discovery led to a goodly purchase after which I continued my walk toward the stores.
As I had but a few blocks to travel, I refused to ride in a new Ford car which a young lady friend was driving. She told me the car was given to her by her father as a Christmas present and that she had just brought it out of the William Petry Co., Inc., garage for the initial ride. It surely was a dandy gift. I recalled then of a gift which a young man of my acquaintance was to receive on Christmas morning. His was to be an automobile too, which had been purchased of the High Rock Motor Co. The Warren street garage also had furnished a like present for another acquaintance of my family.
Such gifts are surely real Christmas presents but then I recalled how much the little things of life are appreciated and that it is the thoughts that go with the gift that make it a present worthy of just as much consideration as if its cost was one hundred times as much. With this feeling I went about my shopping with a rather old-fashioned Yuletide happiness.
My shopping list contained a box of cigars for my husband and I purchased these at A. J. Weidinger's, who carries an exceptionally fine stock for the holidays.
The show window of Frank Perry's store attracted my attention. I learned that this was a gift shop as well as Hudson's leading piano and musical instrument headquarters. In the gift shop department there are so many wonderful gifts that I spent more time there than I had expected. I was well satisfied however as I purchased a few articles which I had not believed in Hudson. The piano business seemed exceptionally brisk.
Very near the Perry store I noticed a place where young folks and baby's garments are extensively carried as well as a full line of ladies furnishings. This store, conducted by Samuel Silver, appealed to me and once more lessened my bank account.
My two friends met me as I was leaving this store, having thought I was lost. They had so many things to tell me that they had walked two blocks upstreet to meet me. One had found an ideal place to buy inexpensive gifts for children at Jaquins' five and ten cent store, which had just been completely restocked for the holidays. Our attention was attracted then to a "real" Santa Claus in the window of R. H. Grossman, the enterprising shoe merchant. At the same time I noticed the many shoppers who were purchasing gifts in foot wear in that store.
Our first visit together was made at the Marsh & Bachman Co. store. I had often been in this store but never realized until that time that it was a great department store in a small city. Here was a store just like those in the greater cities. The three floors were crowded with customers while the obliging clerks hustled back and forth. The line of goods carried here is too extensive to go into detail but there is everything from a wedding dress to toys. The gifts suit all classes of people and we shopped on every floor. It is a safe wager the errands boys will not smile when we enter that store again.
Just above the Bachman store on Warren street is the J. T. Guinan Co. department store. Here the shoppers were on hand in great numbers purchasing thousands of pretty gifts that can only be found in a store of this kind. I was told that this store is somewhat new in Hudson, but one which enjoys a high reputation hereabouts. Once more "our busy trio" made the clerks wrap up a number of purchases.
Further down the street we found a store which caters to the ladies. It is conducted by K. V. Clark Co., and is simply stocked to the limit with everything to make a feminine heart happy. From seal-skin coats to handkerchiefs there is a wonderful assortment. I believe I will hint to my husband that there is a store of this kind.
The others wished to go downtown but I thought differently as I wanted to go to Falk's, a store which always suited my wants. I had not been there lately so was agreeably surprised to find the holiday stock that is carried there. I suppose everyone in Hudson knows what gifts can be purchased here, whether it is for man, woman or child. My friends will go at my bidding hereafter as they found articles which they had hunted from Albany to New York for.
While in this store I learned from an acquaintance that "toy land" was to be found at Westover's. She had [made] many a number of purchases there and told me of the many things in crockery I could also find in this store.
We then went to the store conducted by the Bellows estate. I found one of my friends wished to look over the extensive line of furs carried. Every article that can be found in a first class dry goods house is procurable at Bellow's at a most reasonable price.
We had been looking for linens and so visited the Guernsey & Terry Co. store. We looked no further after seeing the stock on hand which was the finest I had ever seen. Besides linens, the store was most carefully stocked with a high grade line of carpets, rugs, mattings, etc.
It was beginning to snow by that time and with my friends I went to the shoe store of H. S. Speed to purchase a pair of rubbers. I found that they had a fine lot of slippers on display and that a number were buying these at the time. They surely make a most suitable present for young or old.
We had two more places in mind to visit that morning--the dry goods store of P. McDonald & Son and the New York Cloak and Suit Co. house, both of which are on Warren street. The former store has an extensive dry goods trade for the reason that it carries a complete line. Everything that a large house carries is in stock there. The cloak and suit house appealed to us also. There a husband cannot help but find a gift which his wife will more than appreciate. They have everything in ladies', misses' and children's wear.
It was near lunch time and we parted with our bundles with an agreement to meet in the afternoon and look over the millinery shops in the afternoon. As my cash was rapidly disappearing I visited the Farmers' National Bank and drew up a check for my further needs. I was therefore able to check out some of my deposit in a commercial way and the larger bills by checks on this bank.
As the workmen had just completed placing a steel ceiling in my husband's office, I dropped in to see him all in smiles. The improvement seemed to even affect the clerks who were humming away as they worked. He told me the ceiling was really "a work of art," and spoke highly of E. H. Davis who had more than fulfilled his contract.
After lunch I met my friends and we started to look over the millinery line. I have always found that Hudson affords better places to purchase in this line than many much larger towns. The milliners in Hudson are far more up to date and exclusive than one would imagine. The window display of Paris Millinery called for our attention first. Here we met another acquaintance who was ahead of us in looking over hats. Being young and pretty she realized the value of a hat in the winter of the latest style was of just as much importance as one on Easter Sunday.
Perhaps the following assertion may be questioned but still it is a fact. There were five of us in the millinery hunt and each purchased in a different place. The reason for this I cannot say. In each there are hundreds of the latest models and trimmed with rare taste. At Miss Martin's and Miss Hickey's my two companions purchased while our new shopping friends bought at the Paris and Menick's. I waited until we reached Miss McNamara's and there I found a stunning one that just suited my taste.
We decided that Hobbie's was the place to purchase pictures and pieces of statuary, most appreciable gifts for Christmas, and found a rare line to choose from. There were just four good customers in our party for Mr. Hobbie. The reason why there was not more was that there were only three others besides myself.
We stopped at the store of Grover Niebergall where we looked over a big stock of sweet-voiced canaries, gold fish, etc. My mother had often wished for a canary and I found a gift here that will surely please her.
It was becoming late, so we decided to put off the rest of the shopping until the following day. Before we parted, however, we agreed to spend Christmas afternoon at The Playhouse and witness the opening production of Kirk Brown's company. We parted and I was soon home not the least bit tired from a long day's shopping and just as eager as ever to continue. The next day I succeeded in purchasing all my needs as well as those for a few others which I will tell you about tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. My goodness! That woman could shop, and apparently had the resources to. Me, I'd want a Locomobile and a Folding Leather Go-Cart, too, a Guaranteed Narobia fur (will have to look that one up), and then maybe a Ritefit petticoat.