Shopping in Eureka, 1959

The news lately has been so horrible l want to regress to an earlier time. This post from three years ago reflects the same feeling.

     The news lately has been so disturbing and distressing it’s only natural to retreat into reveries of a more innocent time. At least that’s what I’m doing.

     Eureka in the ‘Fifties was very different in feeling than it is now. Going down town to do Christmas shopping was exciting because you could discover what new stores had opened, not just what was the latest to close down.  There was a feeling of prosperity in the air and the trains still rumbled along the waterfront, not that we went down there.  The Bank of America was the edge of the known world to a kid in those days because we weren’t allowed to go any further toward the Bay, not without an adult. Anyone remember the Sportsmen’s Cafe? The burgers were flavored with the excitement of being close to the Unknown, just catty-corner from Daly’s.

      Daly’s could always be counted on for lots of holiday decor, as could the other stores: Bistrin’s, McGaraghan’s,  Lerner’s, the Mode O’Day.  I loved Sears’ Cafeteria on Fifth Street where Millie Sears dished up chicken pot pie, the all-time comfort food.  I remember being with my grandmother and my Aunt Evelyn Olander in a diner called Tiny’s that was on or near the corner of 5th and F.  The place was packed with shoppers and the windows steamed against the darkness. We ate spaghetti, which we never got at home,  and all was well with the world.

     On Fridays there would always be a reason to go to Lazio’s.  Friday lunchtime it seemed  the whole town was there, including the priests from St. Bernard’s. We watched the ladies slinging crabs and picked up chowder to take home.  Eureka was a great place to grow up in.  Let’s hope the New Year brings back some of the comfort and joy we knew in days past.  Happy Holidays to all!


20 thoughts on “Shopping in Eureka, 1959

  1. STAANDEE…..PAAPEEE!! The paper boys walking the downtown. Eureka had much the same flair as sub-urban San Francisco of the 1950’s. It truly was a great place to grow up post WW II. Cheers!
    Alf Doten

  2. This makes me very sad about what used to exist in terms of commerce. Bill Stamps, the late owner of Crescent City’s KPOD, always promoted “shopping at home”. Unfortunately, people are doing just that–with the internet.

  3. Daly’s was on both 4th and F and 4th and G. Where was the Sportsmen’s Cafe in relation?
    Also, long before Fireplace Bookshop, there was a small selection of books upstairs at Lincoln’s on 5th along with a great newsstand just up the street (forget the name).

  4. While I remember from the Mid-1960’s on… Yes, Downtown was wonderful for shopping. The streets were packed. When Ernie Pierson built the Eureka Mall in 1968, they thought business would die downtown, but it didn’t. Arthur Johnson’s, Anita’s, Bistrins, Hollander’s Jewelers, Woolworth with the lunch counter and birds in the cages. And, the little old ladies ringing bells for collection for the Salvation Army.

    I remember my folks taking us down to Two Street to visit a man named Winnie Colarino who ran a small engine repair shop next to the California Fruit Market…but, they always rolled up the windows and locked the doors when we drove through. Ha! My mother worked for the Credit Bureau above the the corner of 3rd and F across from the Ritz. They used to watch the ladies of the evening (and day) work outside of the little cigar shop next door.

      • I DON’T recall the shoeshine stand although I’ve met Mr Jim Howard, who just turned 100. He is an estimable gentleman and sometimes shows up at holiday parties at the Zoo. What a guy! There was also a shoeshine stand in the Eureka Inn but I don’t know if he was the proprietor.

      • I remember it well. I forgot about Killions Stationary store and Penney’s, too. And what about the Beehive adorned clerk at Redwood Pharmacy and Trimble’s Shoes.

        • Penney’s, with the tube that shot off like a rocket when you paid the bill! I was afraid of that thing. Can’t remember the rest but do you remember the Red Barn? I thought they had the best burgers in the world.

          • Yes, Stanton’s Little Red Barn. In the middle of the block on F Street. Now a parking lot. Stanton’s Red Barn was in McKinleyville, so the Little Red Barn became the Eureka moniker. Don’t get me started on naming all of Stanton Elliot’s restaurants…..(Beg if you will)

            Did I mention Hornbrook Shoes and Crevistan’s Candy Shop. (Where the Alladin Bail is now) Oh,and for the younger set a few years later…Fool’s Jewels. Eureka’s first head shop.

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