Friday, January 04, 2013

J.C. Penney Company Opened a Store in Sandusky in 1929

The March 27, 1929 issue of the Sandusky Register featured an article which announced that the J.C. Penney Company was to open a store in Sandusky. Sandusky’s J.C. Penney store was number 1076 in the retail chain. The Sandusky store was located next to Montgomery Ward in the 200 block of Columbus Avenue.

The J.C. Penney Company began in 1902 in a small mining town in Wyoming, "based on the principles of honesty and fair dealing." Mr. Erwin H. Wallace was the first store manager of the Sandusky J.C. Penney store, serving in that position until 1959. The picture above shows both the J.C. Penney and Montgomery Ward stores in downtown Sandusky during the Northwest Territory Celebration in April of 1938.

In 1955 the J.C. Penney store expanded and added an addition to its store, at the site of the former Montgomery Ward store.

The postcard below shows the J.C. Penney Co. store in Sandusky in the 1960s. In the mid 1970s, the J.C. Penney Company moved to the Sandusky Mall.


Ed Daniel said...

The J.C. Penney store on Columbus Ave. was the place where our first cousin, Leonard Scales, started his career with the company. He rose through the ranks to become an ass't manager and later manager at Penney stores in Rochester and Newburgh NY, and in Alpena Michigan. My brother John also worked at the Sandusky store, ca 1950-51, before he joined the Navy. I recall the overhead "cable-car" system that ran from all the sales desks to the upstairs office where cashiers made change on cash purchases. Only late in Mr. Penney's life (or after he died?)did the company depart from its cash-only policy--no credit cards accepted!!

Anonymous said...

My grandmother Margaret Tyler worked for JC Penney for more than 20 years, first downtown and then at the mall, retiring in the late 70's. I used to walk to the Columbus store after school activities and wait until she got off work so she could take me home. She worked in the children's dept. and I spent many hours "working" to pass the time. All the sales people were so friendly. They all found small jobs for me to do and they were always willing to share a story or just spend time teaching me something new. There was a real family atmosphere then, I can't imagine anything like that being allowed in a business now, how sad! I especially remember the sweet lady in alterations, whose name was Stephanie. I got my love of sewing from her! I also looked forward everyday to the ride in the elevator. Back then there was an elevator attendant who welcomed you, asked what floor and pressed the buttons for you! I wonder if anyone can remember the lovely lady who used to run the elevator in the 1960's? I don't know how long she had worked there. She was a black woman with a sweet face and the loveliest personality. I can't for the life of me remember her name, but I sure wish I could find out. She sat on a little stool, I think by that time her legs gave her trouble. She was always so kind and made my day with her cheerful greeting. Those were the days when department stores bent over backwards to please the customer, a little different now, isn't it?

George William said...

I wasn't born till late 1963, and I can barely remember the store, just a vague memory of a Christmas Tree in the lobby. My mom took me there for cloths, and I kind of remember the elevator, I think there was a drinking fountain on either the first or second floor.

Anonymous said...

So what happened to Montgomery Ward between the time JCPenney expanded into their space and when they opened at Sandusky Mall? Did Wards relocate elsewhere, or did they leave the area and come back?

Anonymous said...

Montgomery Ward went into the space that now is occupied by Ollies. I remember besides the wonderful array of items, (I swear you could find anything there) there was also a luncheonette the whole length of the one side. there were tables to sit at, maybe some booths. but I remember as a kid the long counter with stools and the colored drinks swirling around in the big glass containers on the counter. The large dept. store was there for quite a while. I was born in 1960 and so I don't remember Wards being anywhere but in that spot in the Perkins Plaza until it moved into the mall. Then it occupied the South end of the mall until Sears ( also moving from it's downtown location to the Perkins Plaza, where Big Lots is now) moved in. Even at the mall, M W sold everything it seems. they had a jewelry case at the entrance that sold all kinds of expensive gifts. Even guns! I purchased a 44 magnum from that case in the Sandusky Mall! can you imagine?