Today I was browsing the Genealogy stacks at the library. I picked up a book entitled “Frankfort’s Fall Festival 1936,” which is a program for the Festival. The most interesting part of the program is the advertisements for businesses of that time. Interesting, and surprising, mainly because of the variety of businesses and services that were available right on the downtown square or just a block or two off of it.
If you wanted to buy a dress or a fur coat you could go to Adler’s (You’ll Find What You Want At Adler’s), Thrasher’s, J.C. Penney’s, Moore’s Dress Shop, the Value Dress Shop, Forrest’s or Rapp’s Cut-Price Store. If you needed a new hat, you could visit Miss Nora Owens in the Canfield Building. If you were a man, you’d probably prefer to buy clothes at Laverty’s, Freeman’s or Morris-Davis on the “South Side of the Square.” If you wanted shoes, you could try Kern Brothers, Irwin & Paddock or Merit Shoes. If you wanted to go see a movie you had three choices—The Roxy, The Ritz and The Conley Theaters.
If you wanted a wedding ring or nice watch you could visit Blake & Ham (Clinton County’s Oldest Jewelry Store) or Boeckman Jewelry Store. If you were hungry you could visit Campbell’s Café, Miller’s Waffle Shop, The Central Lunch and Beer, the Campus Castle (“Frankfort’s Original 5 Cent Hamburg”), Wheeler’s Lunch or the South Side Cigar Store and for dessert pick up a Gold-N-Sno Cake at the B&B Bakery.
You could buy an automobile at Albert Laughner Chrysler Plymouth, Howard Motor Sales or the JH Auto Company.
You could buy a Chicken Fryer at Freedman’s for 50 cents, a Clover Blossom Ham at Milner Provisions, Asbestos Siding at McKown-Raikes, baby chickens at Frankfort Electric Hatchery and a Cast-Iron Furnace for 49.95 at Montgomery Ward & Company on East Washington Street.
So, that’s what downtown Frankfort looked like in 1936. What are the downtown stores you remember from your youth? If you need a memory job, come visit the interesting collections in the Genealogy Area of the Frankfort Municipal Public Library.
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