Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Walk Down Cedar Steet-The New Morrows

Downtown Cedar Street! Wow, it was exciting to grow up during some of the great eras of Wallace. It wasn't "Historic Wallace" back then, We weren't historic, infamous, yes, but historic? Nope. History was one of my loves in subject matter, and to me history was about Rome, Greece, the East Coast, San Francisco, and Lewis/Clark, but not little old Wallace, Idaho. Nope, Wallace was simply a hard working town where the good folks worked and played hard, really hard.

Amazingly, Wallace, for being such a small city, was gifted with a downtown core more like one would find in a much larger place, like Spokane or Seattle. Each one of these fine merchants was very individualized unlike the box trap stores of today. Last week, I talked about Gene's Radio Shop, which was one of my favorite stores, especially around Christmas time. Today, I want to start a few days of stories about different businesses in Wallace.

 Our family home was 218 Cedar, and so, we were just a few blocks away from the downtown core of business, Now some of these were establishments that well, let's just say, my mother did not approve of some of them, but most of them were just good, hard-working merchants trying to make a living.

Walking towards downtown from my home on Cedar, the first real business that one came to was the fine department store, THE NEW MORROWS. Yes, Wallace had a department store, and it was a very good one. Morrows was owned at that time by a husband and wife team, the Thompsons, Gus and Minn.

My first real job was in Morrows, but more about that later. I know that it must be hard to believe for those young people growing up today in Wallace, or for those transplants who moved to Wallace in recent years, that Wallace was a real town, but it was. Morrows actually had three floors of shopping for awhile and included Anthony's, a fine jewelry store, and  Morrow's Lunch Counter.

There was a men's wear department, full of ties, dress shirts, work shirts, work pants, dress pants, boots, tennis shoes, dress shoes, and mining boots. It had everything a man or young man could need. There was also a women's clothing department, a lingerie department, an infant's department, suitcases, bags, accessories, and of course fabrics and sewing items. Upstairs there was a really nice women's dress department, and the accounting and business office. It was quite a nice department store, and one that I remember very fondly. I wish that it was still there.

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