Shopping for Christmas in Orange 58 years ago

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 15, 2018

By Mike Louviere

The big news in November 1960 was the election of John F. Kennedy as president of the U.S. The Orange Leader was a 20 plus page paper. Orange was in a prosperous period. There were many businesses for Orangeites to patronize to buy what they needed for the upcoming holiday season.

The Goodyear Store at 402-404 Green Avenue had their tires on sale, along with offers for service.

The Firestone Store located down the street at Green Avenue and Tenth Street was touting the advantages of doing business with them.

Away from downtown, at the MacArthur Shopping Center, Kresge’s advertised they were giving free goldfish to anyone who walked into the store. They did stipulate children needed to be accompanied by an adult. Kresge’s was also selling canaries that were guaranteed to sing.

Sears, snails, and everyone’s dog, Marmaduke

Sears at MacArthur had Silvertone TV sets on sale and advertised the sets had the large 23-inch screens.

One of the more upscale stores at the MacArthur Shopping Center was Worth’s, a division of Palais Royal. Worth’s was having a sale on ladies clothing, especially lingerie.

If you were considering a new car, Modern Chevrolet on Green Avenue was ready to put you in the driver’s seat. Brookshire Oldsmobile-Cadillac, Inc. at 106 Border Street and Paul Gasow Rambler at 707 Simmons Drive, and Slayter Pontiac, 105 Green Avenue, were also eager to sell one of their cars to you for Christmas.

Morrow’s Appliance, 206 Border Street, sold RCA Victor television sets. Garrett Appliance Co. Store around the corner from Morrow’s at 906 Division Street was the local dealer for Philco television and radio sets.

Orange Appliance Center, 302 Tenth Street, sold washers and dryers made by Maytag.

Green’s, a division of the Fair Store, on Fifth Street had family clothing and shoes, as did Penny’s and Beall’s on Green Avenue at Fifth Streets.

In 1960, Levine’s was still located at Fourth and Front Streets. The family clothing store would relocate to the MacArthur Shopping Center.

Jewelry was available at Gem Jewelry on the corner of Fifth and Main and at Staudt’s, 201 Fifth Street.

Western Auto on the corner of Fourth and Green was getting an early jump on Christmas shopping. They had a 50 percent off sale on many toys, including toy pistol sets and toy rifles. For a small down payment, they could be placed on layaway until December 24.

Located at 88 Cypress Street was Nelson’s Supply House. Nelson’s was the local bicycle dealer and did repairs on bicycles of all makes.


For those needing groceries for the holidays, Orange had a plethora of grocery stores. Save-Way Supermarket was located at 712 First Street, Sabine Food Town at 917 Second Street; Lucia Finer Foods, 89 Green Avenue; Blanda’s Grocery and Market, First and Cypress Streets; Gerland’s, Tenth and Park; Super Handy Food Store, 1301 Sixteenth Street; ABC Store #2 at Park and Ninth Streets and ABC #3 on Western Avenue in West Orange.

If after all the shopping a person needed to relax there was the Orange Bowling Palace at 410 Front Street. That building was repurposed and was the first building of Lamar State College-Orange after the “Tilley Tech” years.

Prices at Save-Way on November 9, 1960

This list of businesses is not all-inclusive. There were furniture stores, smaller neighborhood food stores, the bigger food stores, like Weingarten’s and Henke-Pillot, later Kroger, a few radio dealers, smaller appliance dealers, and a few more auto dealerships. Those listed here were the ones that advertised in the Leader to get the jump on the Christmas shopping season.

“And now you know.”