Anchorage Woolworth
Grand Opening

Do you remember the Anchorage Woolworth Grand Opening?

anchorage woolworth

by Mary Jane Dougherty

My entire family went to Woolworth's Grand Opening in Anchorage when I was in grade school.

That was back in the 60s.

Woolworth's was just a few doors down from the 4th Ave Theater and that made it a happening place to go.

As I walked in to Woolworth's for the first time, I got an eyeful of the café on the left, makeup, and school supplies in the middle and my favorite aisle… the toy section.

The grand opening was very crowded, and I had a lot of fun walking around with my father, “Big Sammy.” He said we could walk down each aisle together and look for something that I would like to buy. We even walked downstairs where the home furnishings and the clothes were located.

After walking back upstairs, I ran into my school friends, and they were having as much fun as my father and me. My mom and brother's and sister were also scattered throughout the store, and I wondered what their first purchase would be.

After pushing my way through the crowd as I walked down the toy aisle about half a dozen times, my decision was made. I kinda wished I kept what I bought because I see it now in our Antique Stores. For some reason, when I was a young girl, I loved miniatures or tiny things. I still do.

What I found in the toy section of Anchorage's Woolworth on that grand opening day was a small Barnyard decorated oval lunch box with a matching thermos. It was small and cute!

My father asked if I was certain that was what I wanted. I smiled and happily answered yes.

That was such a fun day at our new Anchorage Woolworth's. I remember that I couldn't wait to get home and use my small lunch box.

Later, when I was back home I went in the kitchen and I poured hot chocolate in my thermos and packed graham crackers in wax paper and placed them in my small new Barnyard lunch box.

Then, I went into the living room, turned on the television, sat down on the couch and put my lunch box on the coffee table. Then I opened up my small lunchbox and poured my hot chocolate out of my small thermos into the cup.

The Anchorage Woolworth's store became a meeting place for me and my school friends during my growing up years and by gosh their chocolate ice cream sundaes were the best!

Anchorage Memories VIP Club

“If you haven't joined Anchorage Memories VIP Club, what are you waiting for? It's knowledgeable and entertaining Anchorage history. Great fun and nostalgia!”  Scott


anchorage memories vip club and podcast

Join your free Anchorage Memories VIP Club

and Podcast

A treasure chest of narrated Anchorage memories, delivered right to your email inbox three times each month.


Discover Alaska Facts and History

Meet Anchorage Pioneers


Enjoy the VIP Podcast

Plus, just for you:

Right after you join

you'll receive “Nostalgic Anchorage Stories”

as a special gift

"I thoroughly enjoy Anchorage Memories,
it is absolutely magnificent" Robert

Mary's Stories

You might like these