Downtown Department Stores, Or What Am I Doing?

Today at work there was a roundtable of the owners of the department stores that used to be in Syracuse for years until malls took over.  First I met Mr. Chappell of Chappell’s Department Store.

875 - Block108-W-1942 - 300dpi
#875 from OHA’s Photo Store

An old Chappell’s box in the Nifty Fifties toy exhibition. Remember when everything you bought was put into a box instead of a bag?  Chappell’s used to do this even into the 80’s, except their boxes were yellow at that time.  I think I still have a couple of them in my attic.

Then I met Mr. Rodormer of E. W. Edwards & Son Department Store.

326 - Edwards toy store 2 - 300dpi
The rocket in the annex of Edwards Department Store at Christmas time. #325 from OHA’s Photo Store.

An old Edwards box in the Nifty Fifties toy exhibition.

There were others that didn’t introduce themselves to me.  While I didn’t get to listen to the roundtable (pout) I really enjoyed meeting these gentlemen.  I wanted to lock the door and go upstairs to take a few photos, but people kept coming in late.

And I’m really enjoying my job as gift shop manager / museum attendant / webmaster / etc. at OHA!  I don’t know and don’t care what my title is.  Every day at least once a day someone comes in to tell me stories from the area or their family history.  I’m totally in my element with this.

Here’s a quick view of the Nifty Fifties toy exhibition, which is just meant to tease you to come visit if you’re in the area!

It is really cool, and it is getting quite a bit of press and people visiting!

I even submitted a photo of my older brother riding his new horse (which got passed down to the rest of us):


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lynne at Hasty Brook
    Dec 07, 2008 @ 21:52:22

    I can hear the excitement and joy in your voice Pam.
    I could not be happier for you.
    OHA is lucky to have you too!


  2. Susan Gets Native
    Dec 07, 2008 @ 22:27:19

    I love cool old stuff like that!
    My Mom and her friends have been passing along a Gidding Jenny’s bag and box for 30 years. It’s become a very big deal.


  3. Linda in Erie
    Dec 08, 2008 @ 00:53:43

    I just love that first photo. It’s so clear! I love old buildings and old history, too. It sounds so exciting. I’m very happy for you! All your photos are great.


  4. jayne
    Dec 08, 2008 @ 07:52:43

    Like Lynne, I grinned the entire time I read this as the joy just oozes out of your words Pam. :c)


  5. Mary
    Dec 08, 2008 @ 21:47:52

    Me, too. Ditto what everyone says. And, I love your snowflakes, you teaser…


  6. Jim" Wa. State"
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 22:58:35

    I’m 63 now” first off my grand mother Abigail Green / later sir name was Ryan” worked at Chappell’s until she retired: I have a printed postandard copy
    from 1949 , 50 her winning a prize paid vacation:
    I had that vary same spring loaded rocking horse as kid: same color”
    fun” I see that over head kids ride in the back ground; rod in that a couple of times:
    In the winter those store front windows were the best back in the day:
    I left there the last of 74″ CA was home up until a couple years back”
    These days I spend a lot of time researching the past in upstate NY:
    It is a wonderful thing you are doing” it’s a sham so much has gone the way of the


    • dale ann chappell
      Apr 29, 2013 @ 04:05:44

      How cool. I just came upon this thread and I am in Hawaii. My name is Dale Ann Chappell and my Dad was president of Chappell’s for most those years you are speaking off. I am 59 now. My mom is still alive at 85. The store belly upped right when my dad passed away at 64.


      • Dorie Valenti
        Aug 18, 2018 @ 16:52:58

        Hi Dale – For some reason I was remembering our friendship back in highschool and came across this post when I googled your name. We had some good times!! Dorie (Miller) Valenti

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