Woolworth's Grand Opening

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 60's.

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 cafe 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 through out the store and I was wondering 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 very small 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 sure 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 new small 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.

Anchorage's Woolworth 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!

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Date of Opening
by: Randy

Mary, thanks for your response.

Woolworth's is so stuck in this old man's memory that it's difficult to believe it was as late as the 60's for its opening. Log cabin city hall was across the street. Grandma worked at several hat shops in downtown and then at Monty's.

I'm still working on my history of Mt. View. We had to drive through Mt. View to get to Woolworth's.

Records, pets, housewares and the lunch counter. Oh wow.

You Certain about the Early 1960's Date?
by: Anonymous

You certain the "early 60's"?

I remember my grandmother taking me to this place after going to 4th Ave Theater for a movie. Maybe 1960? I was very young at the time born in 1954.

Grandma went back Outside 1962 Went to Woolworth's for everything. My mother would drop me and my cousin off at ZJ Loussac Library.

After our time in library we were allowed to walk to Woolworth's to share a burger and fries.

A Note from Mary of Anchorage Memories

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for your fun information about you and your family.

As memory serves, Woolworth's opened in the early 1960s.

Let us know if you find something that shows a different date.

Memories of Woolworth's
by: Bob Yates

Visited this great place many times.

Fondly remember the artist they had just inside the entrance that painted gold pans with Alaska scenes. Took him just a few minutes to paint a large pan with a great picture on it.

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