Anchorage Store Memories
What were some of your favorite places to shop in Anchorage? Check out this memory-filled edition.
Charles H. Brewster was a homesteader in Anchorage and worked as an ironworker on Elmendorf Air Force Base.
Then he began noticing a need for a laundry service.
In 1949, Brewster and his wife Betty, opened the Mountain View Washaroo Laundry.
In 1952, along with the laundry service, the Brewsters started selling clothing as a side business out of a log cabin in Muldoon.
Seven years later, in 1959, the clothing business was so successful that Brewster moved from the small log cabin to a new location at North Bragaw street and Mountain View Drive.
What are your memories of shopping at Brewster’s?
Ride Up, Ride Down
Photo by Ward Wells
Do you remember this?
You’re looking at the first escalator in Anchorage. And by the look of the crowd, you would think it was a new ride at a theme park.
The happy scene was Caribou’s Department Store in Spenard and on March 19, 1961, when Caribou’s new escalator went into service.
Remember Caribou’s Department Store
in Mountain View
Photo by Ward Wells
July 2, 1958
The two-story building in the background is Caribou’s Department Store in Mountain View.
Notice Mod O-Day on the right side in the photo?
Were you a Mountain View shopper?
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Flowers by Bagoy
The photo above is Bagoy’s shop in 1941
John B. Bagoy and his wife Marie, built their first home and a greenhouse at 4th Avenue and A Street.
Flowers by Bagoy first came on the scene in 1935. It was the first florist shop in Anchorage.
To get fresh flowers, Northwest Airlines began flying them to Anchorage.
What are your memories of Flowers by Bagoy?
Here is a video created by Mike of Anchorage Memories, that shows you more historic photos of Flowers by Bagoy.
Now this is the 4th Avenue we all love
Photo by Ward Wells
June 27, 1961
Located on the south side of 4th Avenue and F street, Woolworth’s was an Anchorage favorite.
Remember the lunch counter? Mike of Anchorage Memories remembers when his mom, Louise Dougherty worked there.
And Mary remembers going into Woolworth’s to buy a large (about two feet long) bag of popcorn and some candy to take with her to see a movie at the 4th Avenue Theatre. And back in those days, the 4th Avenue Theatre was nice enough to let you do that if you asked nice.
Mary of Anchorage Memories was at the Woolworth’s grand opening.
Check out Mary’s story, “Woolworth’s Grand Opening” right now.
Remember Northern Commercial?
In the photo above is Northern Commercial in the early days at 4th Avenue and H Street.
During the 1964 earthquake, Northern Commercial was badly damaged.
Mike of Anchorage Memories remembers buying a “Vego-Matic” as a Christmas gift for his mom in Northern Commercial.
As a youngster, Mary of Anchorage Memories like to shop for toys, while her mother Fedoria purchased small kitchen appliances and home decor.
What are your memories of shopping at Northern Commercial?
Very Popular for Anchorage Teens
Do you remember listening to records in the glass booths?
Betty’s Record Den was the place for Anchorage teens. You could pick up a new 45 record or album, say hello to friends and find out where the next teen dance was going to be and what National rock band was coming to town to play a concert.
What’s behind the green door?
You can find out about the green door, listen to the song and meet Betty, the lady behind Betty’s records.
Check out Betty’s Record Den Memories right now.
Our Special Edition about the 4th Avenue Theatre brought back special memories for many of our members.
“Nice piece re: the 4th Ave Theatre. As a kid growing up in Anchorage I have many fond memories.”
“What a beautiful building, what wonderful memories I have of seeing now-famous movies there.”
The last movie I recall seeing at the 4th Ave was Dirty Harry in early 1972. (The film was released on Dec. 23, 1971, but I don’t think it made to the 4th Ave until a few weeks--or even a month or two—later). I do remember it was winter. Even though I lived in Anchorage until 1984, I don’t recall that I ever saw a movie at the 4th after that. Fireweed Theater, yes. A more vivid memory was seeing Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” in the late summer of 1966 at the 4th. For an 18-year-old kid at the time—working at KENI-AM radio (overnights)--it just blew me away. I had no idea who Mike Nichols (director) was, but when he followed that up with “The Graduate”, he most certainly was on my radar. The 4th was certainly a movie palace. And I preferred the balcony!
Contact Mike and Mary
Twenty-five years later, in May 1995, Mike and Mary visited the Anchorage church where they were married. On June 7th, of 2022 they celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary.
So, did you have fun remembering some of your favorite stores in Anchorage?
Do you have a comment, suggestion for a newsletter, or just want to say, “I love shopping in Anchorage”? It’s so easy to get in touch with us.
You can reply to this email, or Contact US right now.
Ok… now Mary wants to go shopping.
Until Next Time
Mike and Mary