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Christmas Shopping on the West Side of the Square in 1937
Bay City, Texas


After Thanksgiving in 1937, thoughts of Matagorda County residents turned toward Christmas. Stores around the square were decorating their display windows to entice shoppers to buy in Bay City. Due to the large variety of businesses, Bay City area citizens could find practically everything on their Christmas lists in Bay City.

Toots had two tips for shopping on the west side of the square at Davidson’s Confectionery and the Hurley Beauty Shoppe.

Shop With ‘Toots’ and Save

For a delicious lunch…DAVIDSON’S CONFECTIONERY. They serve a plate lunch every day—a choice of meats with three vegetables, salad, hot rolls, drink and dessert for 35¢. Stop by for a drink at Davidson’s sanitary fountain, too. They have plenty of parking space and give you prompt service. Remember how cool it is in front of this confectionery on the west side of the square!

Get a new permanent in cool comfort at THE HURLEY BEAUTY SHOPPE…You need no longer dread that trip to the beauty shop in hot weather because THE HURLEY SHOPPE’S air-conditioner is working full blast! And as always, HURLEY WAVES are perfectly lovely, they’re appealing, modern, yet striking simple in design. Mrs. Gussie Lee Blair will help you select from the many new styles, Phone 146.

Making good use of the time the children were in school, Mother made an appointment at the Hurley Beauty Shoppe to get her holiday permanent. The air-conditioned shop made the experience pleasant since December temperatures in Matagorda County could still be humid and uncomfortable, especially sitting under that dryer while getting a new style.

She couldn’t resist a quick look in the Hurley Shoppe, the first lady’s ready-to-wear store to open in Bay City, to see if there were any bargains among the dresses, hats, smocks, bags, gloves and the many seasonal items stocked for Christmas.

After a morning at the beauty shop, she had lunch at the Black and White Café owned by  W. T. Cox. The newly-enlarged dining room provided ample room for hungry shoppers, meetings or business appointments. The Bay City Club was located in the rear of the café.

She then took her Christmas cards to the post office to mail them. Needing more cared, she visited Huston Drug Store to purchase more. Browsing in Huston’s, she found gift possibilities such as Parker fountain pens, Pangburn’s candy, nuts, or toiletries from the Cara-Nome and Marie Tomlin lines. Seeing the Glidden paint and varnishes, reminded her to get Father to do some touchups on the house before the relatives visited. The newly added liquor department gave her the opportunity to purchase some “liquid Christmas cheer” of wine, scotch, gin or whiskey.

A visit to J. P. Keller Insurance to pay their house insurance was next on her to-do list for the day. Keller was the “Oldest agency in Matagorda County” after being in business 34 years. He handled appraisals, surveys and insurance of every kind including automobile, fire, windstorm, life, accident, health, burglary, explosion, marine, public liability, workmen’s compensation, rain and surety bonds. He was definitely qualified to cover the family’s insurance needs.

It was also time to pay the C. P. & L. bill. Mother never minded visiting the Central Power & Light Company because she could examine the new Westinghouse and General Electric Refrigerators, Hot-Point Ranges, Thor washers and irons and the many small appliances to make a housewife’s life easier. The Sepco water heater display made her wonder if they might need to purchase one to be sure they would have enough hot water for all of those relatives who would be visiting.

It was soon time to pick up the children at school and go home to prepare their evening meal. Mother made one more stop to Bob Beavers’ shop to pick up some office supplies for Father’s business and check the price on a new L. C. Smith typewriter.

After supper the family visited the square to stroll by the decorated store display windows to do some window shopping and wishing. Stopping at the Huston Drug Store, the children added their nose smudges to those already there while they dreamed of getting one of those pretty dolls or train sets from Santa on Christmas morning.

An evening trip to the west side of the square wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Davidson’s Confectionery managed by Mr. R. S. Davidson. Since he was open 7 am to 11 pm, everyone had a chance to get the treat of their choice--Dairyland Ice Cream, King’s Chocolates or a fountain drink.

The family started for home, the children dreaming of the many toys they hoped to get for Christmas, Mother wondering how she was going to get all of her shopping done and Father wondering how he was ever going to pay for it all!





Copyright 2011 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Dec. 9, 2011
Dec. 9, 2011