Pictures/Info submitted by Kevin A. Powers, Midland,GA, September 10, 2002. For further info, please Email Kevin.
My grandfather, R.C.Powers was born in 1902 and raised on Hester St. in Norwalk. He managed the B.C. Taber Department store during the 1930's. By this time the store was nearly 80 years old, having begun in 1855. The store was on the north-west corner of West Main and Whittlesey Ave.
He loved Norwalk and loved managing the store. When the store celebrated it's 80th anniversary in 1933 at the depths of the depression, my grandfather went all-out in making it a city-wide celebration. He went back and found street scenes of Norwalk going back to the mid-1800's. He had some of them published in a special edition of the Norwalk Reflector-Herald, and had the entire company history splashed across the front page. The store front was decorated to look like 1855 and store employees dressed in period costumes.
The attached pictures include the old Norwalk scenes as well as some of the celebration. The descriptions are as follows:
Main St looking East, circa 1880's.
Crowd gathered in front of Street Car. Side of street car reads: East Chestnut via Water St., circa 1900.
Norwalk Fire Department, fire engines are horse-drawn and motorized, 'NFD' can be seen at upper left of building, circa 1910.
B.C.Taber Department Store, circa 1930.
B.C.Taber storefront during 80th anniversary celebration, including 1800ís style storefront complete with Cowboy and Indian. 1933.
Full page ad in the Norwalk Reflector-Herald congratulating B.C.Taber by fellow Norwalk businessmen. 1933.
(NOTE: list of businesses to be posted soon)
Taber and Risk, as B.C.Taber was once known during the early 1880's.
Corner of Main St and Whittlesey where B.C.Taber would stand one day. Note Pharmacy on near corner named 'Benedict and Burton'. 1868.
Front page of Norwalk Herald-Reflector, September 22, 1933, showing entire page devoted to B.C.Taber anniversary.
Here are two of the articles transcribed:
-A Word From The Manager:
This is our eightieth year in business. Long before the writer was born, even before any person now connected with this business came to earth, was this business conceived.
To appropriately celebrate this event, we are sending you this special edition of our daily newspaper. We hope we have made it well worth reading, sometimes it does well to harken back to those days Ďway back whení? But one has to be careful when they think back to those days, things didnít seem so bad. They didnít have the conveniences we know today, but they were happy and God-fearing.
We have tried to incorporate in this edition, many instructive articles pertaining to merchandise carried in our store. All are authentic, compiled from the various manufacturing sources. It is interesting to read what a task it was to manufacture in those days and how easy it is today. Eighty years ago there was a scarcity of manufactured products, today we see a surplus of nearly everything including farm produce.
In this edition you will find many things that have been gathered from places afar to offer you at this holiday season. There are so many items of outstanding merit it would be useless to try to enumerate them. You will find many things that are new, many things that are priced far below replacement costs.
It will profit you to read every page of this edition.
The principles laid down by the founders of this business years ago, quality before price, have been maintained. We want you to feel if anything that is purchased at this store does not come up to your expectations the purchase price will be gladly refunded. We try to maintain the homey feeling, so absent in these fast moving days, as in the days of yesterday. We want to continue to build on the cornerstone on which this business was founded, to continue in the up-building of this city which this store has played an important part in since itís infancy.
THE B.C. TABER CO.
Richard Powers, Mgr.
- JUST THINK! 80 YEARS AGO
We had no electric light. Telephones were unknown. An airplane would have scared the populace to death. An automobile would have been a death-dealing instrument. (Not much different today).
A bath tub like we have today would have been a showpiece. Music through the air? Surely they would have been no more skeptical than we were fifteen years ago. Vacuum cleaners? Just what would the broom makers have done? Farm tractors and no horses? It just couldnít have been.
Churches in those days? Sure, but folks went to church then. Two men just went ten miles into the air. Last year a fellow went two miles down into the ocean.
Eighty years ago they kept their feet on the ground and seemed to get along.
The mere passage of time isnít what counts. It is survival and progress, the fruit of character, consistent effort, confidence and courage.
Receipt of goods purchased by Martin Hester from B.C.Taber, November 2nd, 1855. Receipt reads:
40-3/4 yards sheeting 3.87
6 plates .66R
1 comb .19
1 " .38
3 lbs coffy .42 (coffee)
1 " tea .50
1 " Salaratus .08 (baking soda)
1/3 doz thimbles .66
2 soup plates .25
2 beef dishes .50
4 yds calico .50 1.91
1 bed cord .31
Charged in apc?