Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Remember When: Woolworth's

Compared to living in the Phoenix Metro Area the town I grew up in was small. There was the center of town with the county courthouse and stores all around. Further down was the park and zoo. I spent all my summers riding my bike and walking back-and-forth to the park. This was in the '50s so it was just like those old shows where life is idyllic.

Some of my best memories are centered around the Woolworth's store. It was a great old building with wooden floors and large bins of treasurers. Upstairs in the back was the office area and it was wonderful to go up there with Mom and be able to look down onto the whole store.
One time, after a visit to the dentist, Mom took me to Woolworth's and let me pick out something special. I still have the little pink jewelry box and I keep many little memory joggers in it.

There are also some memory joggers on it. In the '60s I apparently wanted to update it, thus the "flower power" sticker on top. Those black smudges to the right of the lock are from the fingerprint powder when we were burglarized back in 1975.

Inside is a mishmash of items from my life. I've realized while working on this I have other things spread out between other boxes and I really should put them all in one place.
In the meantime, if you look closely you can see a little elephant pin, a plaster dog I colored black and got from that same dentist, a piece of sealing wax, an Elvis key ring, some coins, a pen from Great Bend, a Paul McCartney pin that my niece brought me from one of his concerts, a gold ID bracelet, and a unicorn bookmark.

I have searched ebay for years trying to find a photo or postcard of Woolworth's in Great Bend. I let out quite a whoop when I found this one and ordered it right away. I love finding these treasures of my past.

Do you have special memories from another place or another time that might be saved in postcard format? Go look around. It's amazing! Even if you aren't interested in buying the items you will find many memories to add to your collection.


  1. I grew up in the 70's. We had a Woolworth's in MI, and I have great memories of shopping there with my grandma. Like me, she liked to take a slow stroll threw the store and see EVERYTHING! I used to end up with a set of 3 plastic animals, there were dogs, cats, birds, I think they were meant to deccorate potted plants, but I treasured them cuz they were tiny, and would fit in a special treasure box I had!! I am so happy to see your collection, it makes me think of my own things, old Avon xmas pins and a mink mouse pin with green rhinestone eyes!! I love this post!

  2. Oh I loved going to the "dime" store when I was little--so many things to look at buy!! It was about five blocks from where I lived and my friend Lillyan and I would walk there and look for hours-buying paper dolls and ribbons--such fun!! I can't believe you saved all those treasures from your past--aren't you glad to have them now!!

  3. I stumbled upon your other post "WOW Childhood memories" and enjoyed reading it. I myself write a lot on my childhood memories in my blog.
    I have already treasured many childhood objects from my parent's home and brought them to my present rented home where I am living with my husband now.
    take care,

  4. One of my first jobs was at Woolworth's in Camden, NJ, when I was in my teens. I was in charge of the toy dept. and would have to keep count of every little thing that got sold and there were so many little things like toy soldiers in bins and baby bottles. When the lady in the pet dept. would go to lunch, I was in charge and it always seemed that someone would come in to buy a bird. I wasn't good at getting them out of the cages and there would always be screams from the customers as the birds flew out of the cages and circled the store. No matter, they kept me doing that cause no one else would and I wasn't afraid of the pet mice. I wonder if there are any pics out there of it cause Camden burnt down many years ago. Thanks for the memories!

  5. I worked in the toy dept. at Woolworth's in Camden, NJ, as a teen. I would have to keep careful count of all of the little toy soldiers and baby bottles and blankies and re-order every week. When the lady in the pet dept. went to lunch, I was in charge and someone always seemed to want to buy a bird at that time. That wasn't my forte and there'd be screams when the birds would start flying out of the cages and circling the store. They kept me doing it tho as no one else would and I wasn't afraid of the pet mice. Would love to see a pic of the old place before most of the town burned away into oblivion. Thanks for the memories!

  6. that certainly is a wonderful box of delights you have there ... I am drawn to lots of little things and have hung onto some in an old jewelry box too

    years ago I went to a Woolworth's in Munich, Germany ...that certainly was fun
    I do miss those kinds of stores!

  7. My memories of Woolworth's is the grilled cheese sandwiches at the lunch counter with my mom.


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