A place to recall and celebrate the wonderful stores of a Downtown Boston now alive only in our memories

Thursday, 7 May 2009

C. Crawford Hollidge at Tremont Street and Temple Place

C. Crawford Hollidge was one of those Boston stores that grew from a small seed into a Boston legend. Turn of the last century was ripe for Boston and stores grew and expanded all over the Downtown area. Tremont Street was known for high end clothing stores and C. Crawford Hollidge made its mark and lasted there for almost 60 years.
Like RH Stearns, C. Crawford Hollidge was mainly a women's clothing store with an eye for style and well known customer service.
The entire building on the corner of Tremont and Temple Place would grow to become a significant rival of RH Stears that occupied the opposite corner.
Like so many Boston stores of its time, it managed to make it into the 60's and expand into the suburbs. The Boston location was still the main store when an early morning blaze destroyed the great building in February of 1967. The damage was total and the building needed to be demolished soon after. By the time I came along, the store was a busy construction site and only a sweet memory of the older generations.
The other branches limped along and vanished in time.
Enjoy this look back and these great classic images taken by Dick Harris of the fire back on that bitter cold winter morning in 1967.
I have been asked about C. Crawford Hollidge by my blog visitors and this posting is my answer.
And yes, RH Stearns did have some minor damage to its building and that is reported in some of the news articles I have posted for you to read.



Suldog said...

Magnificent. Thanks again for sharing these treasures!

H2EAUU said...

My grandfather was the treasurer of C Crawford Hollidge! His sister's husband was a hollidge so it was a family business of sorts! I still have clothing and gloves in my closet from the store!

Charles Boston said...

Thanks for visiting!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Charles,
Thank you for this information, I just found a beautiful vintage dress from this department store and was hoping to find some information about it. I will be adding it to my boutique soon and would like to add a link to this post, with your permission.
Thank you,

Tom Lang said...

My grandmother ran one of the departments at C. Crawford Hollidge during the Depression. She "went to work" then and because of it was shunned by many as certain women were not supposed to work.

My Grandmother' main customer was Helen Keller who bought all of her clothes at C Crawford Hollidge. She became friends with Helen and I remember seeing photos of Nana with Helen Keller at a farm in Wrentham that Keller purchased.

Unknown said...

Today at an antiqoe store I purcchased a high chair. I noticed the paint is chipping and peeling and it had a little water damage but easy enough to fix up for my 10 month granddaughter. As I am working on it I find it has a metal placard on the top, back after removing at least 3 layers of paint I fine it is a gold colored placard/label that says C Crawford Hollidge Boston. It has a design similar to a rattle on the left end and the letters are gold on black. Can any one help me place the year of tgis delicious find? Mind you, it has the tray that flips over the top and converts the chair into a stool. I am guessing 1940's or 1950's???

Unknown said...

That's my grandpa's store. My father worked in the jewelry department as a kid until he moved to Florida. We still have a few keepsakes from the business in storage. Great article.

Ashley Lane said...

My great grandmother is Mildred Hollidge Lane. My great great great grandfather C. Crawford Hollidge. How bizarre.

Unknown said...

I just purchased a lovely gold metallic lace collar nestled in a 9" square box with the Hollidge logo in the center and "googled" to learn more about it.

Having sewn for over 40 years, I love to collect interesting textiles and would love to find out more about this collar. I love knowing that it came from Boston as that's where I purchased some of laces for my own wedding gown in the early 80's.

Any ideas about how to learn more?

Unknown said...

My friend George and I love to collect old books -- a couple of summers ago I bought one that happened to have a letter folded inside of it -- the letter was on C. Crawford Hollidge stationery and was signed by Margaret O'Donnell, a women's clothing buyer for the store -- the letter was written in 1956. I was tickled by the coincidence since I am an O'Donnell. Just a few weeks ago, my sister-in-law, who loves genealogy, wrote to ask if I knew anything of my grand-father's siblings' -- one of whom, it turns out, was named Margaret -- my grandfather died when my dad was only 19 and in the Aleutian Islands as part of his WWII service ~ of course, I never met him and these relatives were unknown to me, except as, perhaps, vague references. Margaret O'Donnell was listed in the 1922 census as a department store clerk. I am convinced that I somehow came across a letter written to a C Crawford Hollidge customer by my own great-aunt, Margaret O'Donnell many years after that census but during my life-time! Trying to find out more!