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Thread: Small Town Ben Franklin Store - 60 years ago

  1. #1
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Small Town Ben Franklin Store - 60 years ago

    I vaguely remember the Ben Franklin Store in Cannon Falls when I was a kid - like 60 some years ago.

    It seemed like it had a bit of everything in it! Some things I remember: Ribbons and lace, fabric, kitchen stuff, towels, underwear, greeting cards, candy, cloth diapers, and a few clothes.

    It had a wooden floor and was next to a bank that was on the corner.

    That was the store I got to go to 'on my own' - not that 'on my own' was very far from an adult!

    Do you have any memories of an almost general store from when you were growing up?

  2. #2
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Don't have to remember the Ben Franklin -- I have 2 of them that I go to and they have a lot of stuff, though they are more craft store than general store.

    I remember Woolworths -- they had a soda fountain where we could get lunch and some awesome eclairs. I bought my first 45 records there -- they had a little bit of everything but we never bought our fabric there. Mom and Grandma would only buy fabric at Pennys.

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

  3. #3
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    We had a Kress store on the corner downtown. The building still has the name on it lo these many years later. I remember getting shorts (which I promptly wore out sliding down gravel piles in our back lot), fabric, notions, Evening in Paris perfume, and various other sundries.

    There was also a Woolworth's that later became a Ben Franklin store. And later we also had a Perry's where my mom got strawberry plants, flower seeds, and as a teenager I bought fabric (flat fold). Don't remember what else they had but think it was pretty much like what we would now call a dollar store.

    And for awhile we had a Gibson's too.

    Alas, none of them are still around.
    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  4. #4
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    British Columbia
    Blog Entries
    One of the best things about summers with my grandma in Oregon was making those trips to Ben Franklin. We had nothing like it in Canada and it always took me a long time to spend my nickles. Now that's real shopping!

    Samuel Johnson - Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed, not by strength but by perseverance.

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Yes i liked shopping at Ben Franklin.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2011
    Oak Point TX
    And, how about Duckwalls (mmm the donuts) and Neisner's.

  7. #7
    Senior Member scrappy2's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    W Ohio
    Blog Entries
    We have a Ben Franklin and it has all the great things that a old country store would have. No clothes but they do have fabric. The Dollar Tree wanted to come in and put a store in at the edge of town but it didn't get approved & I'm glad becasue that would be the end of Ben Framklin. I like to browse around & I almost always find something I can't live with out.

    When I was a kid my DGM would take me to McCoys and they had a diner counter. They had the best banana spits & you could picked a balloon with the little paper in it ranging from a penny to .99 cents. Once I got a banana split for a penny, I was so happy.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Illinois...near St. Louis
    Those really were the days! The Ben Franklin in my town was in a shopping center with a W.T Grants. And downtown, there was a Woolworths, Newberrys, & a P.N. Hirsch. And all of them had fabrics & patterns! And a little of everything!

    We had a nice shopping district...dress shops, shoe stores, an ice cream parlor, drugstores that delivered (& one of them had a soda fountain), a menswear shop, Western Auto, & old time hardware stores that always had what you were looking for! Then Walmart came to town & one-by-one these family-owned (some in their 3rd generation) closed. I really hate what Walmart does to a small town....

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Chula Vista CA
    We lost our Woolworths and TG&Y long before Walmart came to town. We had a Ben Franklin store up in Lynnwood WA, but I don't remember one being in San Diego. There was one in Temecula off the I15 - but appears it no longer exists. Oh the distance we will go to enjoy fabric.

  10. #10
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Holmen, WI
    Yep, that's how our Ben Franklin was when I was growing up. I think they even had wedding stuff in addition to some clothes & records & your general five & dime stuff. We had Ben Franklins when I first moved to WI but they were mostly crafts (good crafts, at that). But they closed a few years back. Growing up, we also had a Woolworth's & TG & Y (& Alco... any of you still have Alco?). Then when we'd go to Wichita or Kansas City, there would be Kress (didn't that turn into Kmart?), Katz & Duckwall's. What I miss the most about all of them? The soda fountains! The best ham salad sandwiches I EVER had in my life (& egg cremes!!!)!!!
    (.(. (..`..♥ rebecca

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