Monday, December 29, 2014

Shopping in Hudson a Century Ago . . . Day 3

Here is the conclusion of our mystery shopper's three-day holiday shopping escapade in Hudson in 1914. In the final day, which she confesses was "but a few days before Christmas," she gets around to buying something more than just a box of cigars for her husband.

(The Conclusion)
My third and last day of Christmas shopping in Hudson has been completed. It now seems that I can enjoy the real spirit of Christmas as I confess I was quite nervous since the first of the month trying to think of suitable gifts for all. I can thank the pretty shop girls for their help as the advice I received from them seemed to be just what was needed. As my last day "doing the rounds" was but a few days before Christmas, I arose early and after a hearty breakfast made a start for the stores shortly before 9 o'clock, I decided then that I would have every gift purchased before I returned to my comfortable fire-side but I was compelled to alter my decision later.
My first stop that eventful day was at the store of William L. Speed on Columbia street. I wanted to have my kitchen range in the best shape possible on Christmas when my turkey, cranberries, etc., depended upon it. A neighbor was looking over the great line of stoves and I guessed his household and wife were to be made happy.
I then decided to look over some things for my husband. His wardrobe was a bit in need and therefore I decided to purchase his needs at this time, for useful and necessary presents always please the men. At the Pan-American Clothing House I found everything a man would want from shoes to neckwear and I purchased many articles.
Then I stopped at Adam Kritzman's, the home of Hart, Shaffner & Marx clothes. A new suit could not help but make the best present possible to give a husband and there I found just what I needed. Every essential in man's attire can be found at that store.
At Max Grossman's store on the opposite side of Warren Street I found another place where the needs of a man could be found. After completing my shopping in this store I visited the shoe store of Samuel Kline. My purpose was to find a pair of rubber boots for my little son but before I left I had placed some of my shopping money on my side of the ledger, having purchased a pair of shoes for myself, just the kind I wanted.
As I traveled down the street further I noticed a crowd of children and soon saw a real live Santa Claus parading thru the streets with his red coat and long whiskers. He stopped in front of the store of David Kline, a first class shoe house. I remembered then that I had forgotten to purchase a pair of slippers for my little daughter so I visited the second shoe store within an hour and found a most pleasing bargain.
Upon leaving the store I met an old acquaintance of mine who was shopping with the aid of her auto, a new "Hudson Six" which was purchased of the Crescent Garage Co. She invited me to accompany her and I did so. We made a brief stop at the Hudson River Trust Co., where she cashed a check. She was considerably delayed there on account of the great business which this bank enjoys.
The conversation lead to Christmas dinners and the time it generally took to cook everything. She told me she had recently purchased a new range from F. A. Macy which had proven the fastest and best "cooker" she had ever had. Fortunately she was making her last search for gifts for the male members of her family, too, so we were able to make the same stops at the same time.
At Samuel Lewis' clothing house we found everything that is made [to] adorn a man from a suit of clothes to an overcoat. They carry extensive stock in this store from which a careful shopper can find hundreds of bargains. Next we visited Daniel Breen's store in our search. The latest models of everything a man wears is on display in this spacious store. In both these places we purchased but there are so many stores where men's apparel is carried that we decided to look them all over and we were well repaid.
William Fruchting's style shop received a call and my friend found an exceptional bath-robe here of the latest design. The neck-tie and hand-bag display here attracted my attention. Then we were driven to the haberdashery shop of A. R. Vosburgh. There was another place where everything a man wants can be found. A suit of clothes which had been ordered by my friend for her husband's major present was awaiting her arrival and she and I were highly pleased with the workmanship.
We had two more haberdashery shops to look over yet so we continued to the C. R. Harder & Co. Here is Hudson's $2 hat store and it struck me then that if a woman is so pleased when her husband brings home a hat why should not the plan work the other way. I therefore purchased a neat winter hat for my husband while my friend looked over sweaters.
Cruise Brothers, one of the oldest haberdashery establishments in the city, received our last visit in looking out for the men. They had an excellent line of sweater coats, half hose, bath-robes, leather goods, etc. We purchased everything that we needed in this line and then started to conquer new fields. 
With the aid of the automobile we had saved much time and therefore I had visited far more stores that I had anticipated. The chauffeur had to make a trip to the Knott Vulcanizing shop on Green street for some tire repairs, so we decided to walk about a bit and look over the store window display. The first thing we noticed was an assortment of ladies' shirt waists at a store which we had forgotten. I then recalled the advertisements of Kosoff's in my Morning Republican. We entered the store and found a beautiful line of silk apparel for ladies as well as hundreds of articles which a woman wishes. We made a number of purchases here.
We walked about the streets and then noticed the suits for both men and women on display in the show windows of Paris & New York Tailors. Perhaps many of these were presents for wives who would have a right to be real merry on Christmas.
The chauffeur returned by that time with the car and my friend immediately sent him to the tailoring shop of M. D. Maloney to get the dress suit which her husband had ordered there for the Charity Ball on Christmas night at the armory.
The clothing question caused me to think of a little overcoat for my little son so we went across the street to the well known store of Tilley & Aldcroft where I found no difficulty in finding just what I wanted. My friend profited by the large assortment of clothing of every kind carried here and she also made a purchase.
It was there lunch time and my friend ordered the chauffeur to drive me to my home after I had been compelled to refuse her kind invitation to dine with her. On the way home our trip was interrupted by the coal wagons of Van Wyck-Thorpe Co., W. H. Parker and B. S. Johnson. My friend informed me that they were delivering coal to some poor families, several big-hearted Hudson men having taken this method in making the needy happy. It surely was the kind of gift that meant "Merry Christmas" to all.
Another tram also got in our way but this held a precious gift for a young girl, a piano which had been purchased from N. H. Browning, the local dealer.
Finally, I arrived home and found that Frank L. Smith had already completed the necessary wiring for my electrical fixtures on the Christmas tree. Another mechanic had also remedied a trouble which had caused me a little unhappiness--a frozen water pipe. Byron Parker had dispatched his men to my home immediately after I had telephoned to him.
I did not attempt to do any more shopping that day planning to finish at night with my husband, who had telephoned in the meantime telling me to meet him at the railroad depot at 6 o'clock and he would help me out at night.
I traveled to the railroad station and on my way noticed a shoe store that carried a shoe that was just the thing for children's wear in the winter. This was at Emil Moskowitz's store.
After meeting my husband we walked up the main thoroughfare of the city and looked at the window displays in hopes of finding something that had been forgotten, at least one us thought that way. At Tresselt's paint stop we purchased some paint and other decorative material to make everything look bright about the Christmas tree.
We went to the furniture store of A. D. Putnam's and there looked over the wonderful display of things that make a home happy. If there is one thing lacking in furniture in your home it can be found in this store. That night my husband looked over a combination kitchen cabinet very closely and then wrote something on a piece of paper. Ever since then I have begun to feel that Christmas cheer is near at hand.
As the children were at a roller skating party at the Hudson Roller Rink where Julius F. Thompson's orchestra was furnishing the music, we were in no hurry to reach home.
My husband told me of a way to hold the Christmas tree by placing it in a small box or pail filled with cement. He had purchased this from C. W. Macy Co., the local lumber firm. At last we reached home, and seated at my piano-player, which was procured by C. B. Snyder, I remembered my childhood days as the strains of a Christmas anthem filled the room. It was surely going to be my happiest Christmas after all.


  1. did Ellen Thurston write this ... ?! ;)

  2. Vince: I'm not quite that old. --Ellen

  3. Wow--I'm exhausted just reading all this! Bless Byron Parker, still solving plumbing problems. And imagine an orchestra at the roller rink!

  4. Bill Fruchting (pronouned fruit-ing) was a neighbor of mine in Greenport in the early 1950's. I believe he was also a Past Exalted Ruler of the Hudson Elks BPOE 787. To see his name brought back many memories.

  5. You are younger than springtime Ellen, and just as fresh.

    Picture you more as a time traveler !