March 25, 2017
Susan Ortega, Bill Johnson, L. Casner, Gary Conley, Mike Houser, Terray Harmon and Casey Roberts all contributed to this report.
This week’s History Mystery, above, was scanned from a 2¼-by-2¼-inch negative from the archives of The Dalles Chronicle. Information on the envelope reads: “Williams 1870, opening (day early), Oct. 12, 1972.”
The Williams 1870 store was located at Second and Washington Streets, according to several readers.
The “opening” appears to be for the Buster Brown Shoe Store. Mike Houser spotted “what looks like a Nike aka Blue Ribbon Sports tennis shoe sporting a swish that was created in 1971. I miss our local clothing stores, William's, Gordon's, Tony's, Young's/Baron’s, Meier & Krier and a few others,” he added.
Casey Roberts wrote, “Good old Buster Brown shoes. I recognize the Buster Brown advertising in the store. I wore Buster Brown Shoes as a wee lad, but don't remember anything about where they were purchased.
“I do remember that I faithfully listened to the Buster Brown radio program every Saturday morning for several years, which featured Smilin Ed McConnell and Froggy the Gremlin ("Plunk your magic twanger, Froggy!") along with some others. I do remember that there was a shoe department in a department store along the south side of 2nd Street.
“I particularly remember that it was to the left as one entered the store, and that there was a ‘fluoroscope’ in the shoe department that allowed customers to see a live x-ray picture of how their feet fit into the shoes. I used to go in there and watch my foot bones as I wiggled my toes.”
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