Christmas shopping in Eureka, 1959

     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!


4 thoughts on “Christmas shopping in Eureka, 1959

  1. Tiny’s was at the SE corner of 4th and H, behind the old Elks Lodge (now Umpqua Bank). Eureka Bowl (Al Vaeth, proprietor) was two doors down. The lounge in between was either part of Tiny’s or part of the bowling alley.

  2. And then there was Woolworth’s on 5th, Kress on F, Lincoln’s was the only place for books with the newstand just up the block. Downtown suffered a big blow when Wards moved out toward the slough followed by Sear’s to the Eureka Mall. Eureka was a nice compact town then.

    • Thank you for those! I remember Lincoln’s AND the bookstand. I still have paperbacks I bought there. I also forgot Hollander’s, an elegant housewares shop next to what is now Partrick’s. Thanks for reading and replying and Happy Holidays!

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