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Dayton Memories > Woolworth's
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333 posts
Mar 06, 2013
5:39 PM
Was there ever a Woolworth's in Dayton with a lower level with big wide steps going down and a lunch counter? They had teraza floors.
134 posts
Mar 06, 2013
9:07 PM
A two-floor store might have been in either Hill's and Dale shopping center or Forest Park on North Main. These are the only two-floor shopping centers I know of. The Penny's store in Town and Country had a basement sales floor, but never a lunch counter. The Elder Beerman store on Smithville had a basement AND a lunch counter, but it was on an upper mezzanine area above the first floor. Elder Beerman North-West also had a basement, and I think their lunch counter was also on a raised mezzanine level.
53 posts
Mar 07, 2013
5:39 AM
Sounds alot like the Woolaorth's that was in downtown Dayton right on main street between 3rd and 4th street
Mike Harris
114 posts
Mar 07, 2013
8:31 AM
There was a McCrory's on the west side of S. Main, between 3rd and 4th which I believe had a downstairs.
12 posts
Mar 07, 2013
9:24 AM
The five and ten stores fell with the growth of the discount stores. Kresge's became K mart.Woolworth and McCrory held on for a while as they were more centrally located in the densely populated urban areas. But with the exodus to the suburbs it was only a matter of time before these stores lost their customer base.The businesses went where the money went.
I have no idea when most stores shut down for good but I'm aware of one F.W.Woolworth still open, including the lunch counter, into the mid 80s.
Yes, that does sound like the downtown Woolworth store. We used to go down to the lunch counter after school for a while. Until we figured out that the girls from Juliene and St.Joes went to the mezzanine at Rike's.
56 posts
Mar 07, 2013
10:13 AM
There was a Gallaghers Drug Store on the west side of Main Street between Third and 4th street that had wide stairs leading to a lunchroom in the basement. School friends and I would stop there in the mid 1940's I remember having my first glass of iced tea there. There seemed to be a Gallaghers on every corner in downtown Dayton when I was a child.
422 posts
Apr 01, 2013
5:45 PM
My best Woolworth's memory is from the one that was in what is now called "Huber Center".

I was 16 years old and curious, so I bought a plug of "Day's Work" chewing tobacco from the Revco drug store.

The stuff was sweet as candy, and numb-nuts 16 year old me swallowed the juice. Big mistake.

As I turned green and became aware that I was about to pop my lunch into orbit, I remembered that nicotine is an alkaloid. Knowing that alkalies and acids neutralize each other, I ran into Woolworth's and ordered two large lemonades, which I quickly drank.

Of course it wasn't the acid/ base thing but rather simple dilution that kept me from vomiting. The nicotine in the juice I swallowed continued to do its work, and I staggered around high as a kite for about half an hour.

At some point I wound up sitting on a bag of peat moss, surrounded by freinds wanting to know if I was okay. I shook it off and walked home to be confronted by my mom, who had been informed of my bizarre behavior by our neighbor three houses down who had been shopping at the Kroger's

I was such an idiot as a kid. It's a miracle I've lived this long.
18 posts
Apr 02, 2013
5:53 PM
This may sound strange to most people but one of my strongest memories of Woolworth's was the smell of the store. I shouldn't say smell as that may have negative connotations what I mean is aroma because it was not at all unpleasant just very distinctive. Possibly the combination of the items on the shelves plus the smells coming from the fountain, I don't know. I will probably never experience that again, sorry to say, and if I were I would probably start grinning like a fool and no-one would have any indication as to why. Mention Woolworth's, that comes to mind.
6 posts
Apr 09, 2013
9:54 PM
Elder Beermans; got my ears pierced there! I also remember a McCory's next to Liberals
147 posts
Apr 10, 2013
1:56 PM
Ared60. I understand what you mean about the smells. For some reason, when I think of Woolworth's I seem to remember the smell of Caramel Popcorn. But, in all fairness, that smell ay have beenn related to McCory's .
25 posts
May 21, 2014
6:22 PM
Loved and shopped at the Woolworth's mainly in Kettering at Van Buren Shopping Center. I miss it!!!!
86 posts
May 25, 2014
8:58 AM
Used to go to the Van Buren Woolworths and have lunch sitting at their lunch counter. Just realized, Im old!
3 posts
May 28, 2014
12:34 PM
Oh yes, the Woolsworth on Main street between 3rd & 4th, what a kick! When I think back about all the things they had in that store...hard to believe. I especially liked to buy "Blue Waltz" perfume. As a little girl, it was oh sooo wonderful to have my own perfume. Had to cost about 50 cents then...you can still find it in some of the catalogues that come thru the mail (for a lot more of course) such a nice memory
1 post
May 31, 2014
11:09 PM
Thanks everyone for the memories.I loved Downtown Dayton in the mid 60's-mid 70's. My sister and I would go to Elder Beerman, ride the elevator to the record dept.We were huge Beatle Fans and I recall that if you were intending to buy a 45 record, they'd play a little of it before you bought it.We caught the number 8 bus ( I recall dropping in my (real silver ) dime ).... got off at Elder Beermans, buy a Beatle record, go across the street to MCCroys, checked out the cheap cosmetics ( of course it wasn't cheap to us back then, as it was all we could afford ). Then we'd go to the back of McCroy's ( towards the arcade ) have a strawberry malt at the lunch counter ( you could choose to have them pop a balloon and inside was a little piece of paper that had the price you paid! ) Sometimes we'd go to Frischs ( which was on the Third St side entrance of the arcade). We also would go to Thal's ( don't know why we'd go there as we absolutely could not afford Thal's :-(.Then we go to Lerners and then on to Mayor's Jewelers on the corner of Third and Main ( Mayor's had a record shop in the basement ). We then headed North to Baker Shoes and finally Rikes. I absoutely loved Rikes ( but couldn't afford ), but it was so magical there ( especially at Christmas) It was a place for me to dream of all the 'good things' I'd buy one day. Sometimes we'd go to Donefields ( another store we weren't able to afford )Then we'd head back to McCroy's to buy a submarine sandwich ( to go ..we could afford those occasionally!) and wait for the number 8 bus ( in front of Rite Aid ) before returning home. I recall it all like it was yesterday, and I truly miss those times. I was like 11 years old and my sister 13, and we were allowed to ride the bus to downtown! I can't imagine that happening in todays time. And Downtown Day Days!!( held twice a year ) when a sale was a sale.... miss those days terribly..

Last Edited by missinthen on May 31, 2014 11:39 PM
luv my dayton
603 posts
Jun 09, 2014
7:09 PM
Mom would take us two girls for a trip by bus downtown to window shop and would end up at the counter in McCrorys for lunch. After one of our jaunts we left to catch a bus home. Mom looked down at my sister who was chewing on something. When asked what was in her mouth she took the gum out to show mom and told her she found it under the counter!

Last Edited by luv my dayton on Jun 09, 2014 7:10 PM
11 posts
Jun 10, 2014
7:15 AM
My best times were on Saturday mornings, rode the bus to downtown with lunch at McCrorys, BLT my all time favorite, sitting at the counter, like I was really someone! Then it was to their basement for shopping, such an unusual assortment of things in it, but it was rather dark...or am I mixing up McCrorys with Woolsworth..maybe they had the basement. I bought my mom her first birthday gift at McCrory's a little figurine and she still has it, she is 91.
75 posts
Jun 11, 2014
2:07 PM
I see mentions of Downtown Dayton Day on this site, quite often. I worked at a men's clothing store during my high school years. Every time there was a DDD, there would "special prices", so to speak, on stuff that otherwise wasn't moving. Sport coats that were normally priced at, say, $49.95, would be re-ticketed at "Regular Price $59.95", then "marked down" to $51.95. And, guess what. Most of them sold.
4 posts
Jun 11, 2014
8:37 PM
Hey Daytongirl01,
You're right, MCCroys had a basement. Remember you'd walk down the stairs ( and there were mirrors on the side walls )I recall they sold yarn and sewing fabric stuff down there, other things too, but I can't recall what,It was a really big basement. I remember the smells of Caramel corn cooking, when you'd first walk into MCroys ( the caramel corn, regular pop corn and the submarine sandwiches were all sold right there by the front doors when you'd first come in. Lerners's had a basement too, where the children's clothes were sold.Like I said in my post, we were allowed to go downtown by ourselves in the mid- late 60's. We rode the number 8 bus ( Lakeview, west side ). I recall during winter when my sister and I would go downtown and of course it got dark early, and as soon as we got off the bus ( remember the cloth cord that you pulled to tell the bus driver that you wanted off the next stop? )... anywho, it would be dark and my sister and I ( holding the bag with our haft eaten submarine sandwich and if we were lucky, 16 magazines ( bought at the newsstand right in front of Rikes ).... anywho, we'd run home like crazy because we were NOT allowed to be out after dark. Of course it was only like 6 :00 or so, but it was still dark and I recall being so very scared. But still loved going downtown, and we went quite often ...
15 posts
Jun 12, 2014
5:55 AM
Hi missinthen, oh good, I did remember correctly about McCory's basement..and yes, I do remember the bus cords you pulled to alert the driver, I believe a bell sound of some sort rang. I try to get to Dayton every 3 or 4 years to visit remaining family and Dayton is so different now. I am glad to see some of the same buildings, even though they're not the same occupants, there is a lot of real beautifying that has taken place over the years on some things downtown. Thanks for your post.
luv my dayton
609 posts
Jun 12, 2014
12:39 PM
I remember when Kettering had a curfew and it was 9pm. When the bus dropped me off at Dorothy lane and Far Hills I would run across the street and hit the alley to my street so the police couldn't see me. Back then they did stop you if seen.
joey m
210 posts
Jun 13, 2014
9:14 AM
I remember McCrorys well but do I remember right,besides the mirrors and the smell of caramel corn weren't the banisters going downstairs stainless or chrome. They always fascinated me. And Daytongirl01 I too remember sitting at the counter and I loved their swiss steak and and it was always a treat. GREAT MEMORIES
5 posts
Jun 13, 2014
9:51 PM
Hey Joey M,
Yelp, the banisters were either chrome or stainless steel. And remember the lunch counter was in the very back of McCroys ( and the back of McCroys also led out/or in whatever the case may be... to the Arcade .
3 posts
Jan 13, 2015
3:35 PM
Yea mom worked at 4th and main Gallaghers in late 58 to 59 Willa jean martin
66 posts
Jan 14, 2015
8:38 PM
That's the first place I ever tried a chocolate coke. I liked it but apparently I was the only one.
Annie B
1 post
Jan 18, 2015
9:41 AM
Joey m.....its me! Love your memories of downtown Dayton...a metropolis to a young girl from Fairborn! I remember your story about the doughnuts!
joey m
305 posts
Jan 19, 2015
8:39 AM
Annie B Pleasant surprise to see you on here. I've been on here for about three years and have enjoyed it greatly. I've been able to communicate with old school mates and friends. Enjoyed having dinner with you guys a couple weeks ago. Thanks for being a good friend.
490 posts
Jan 19, 2015
9:43 AM
Annie B
Welcome to Dayton History
joey m
309 posts
Jan 21, 2015
12:05 PM
Made mistake on Jan. 15 post. Name of drug store I lived behind was Hancock's not Cox's. egdawu

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