12 Stores That Anyone Who Grew Up In Illinois Will Undoubtedly Remember
All across the Land of Lincoln, there are many iconic stores you’ve probably at least heard about. If you grew up in Illinois, you’ll remember these 12 shops fondly.
Most are still around while some have been retired. Scroll on for a quick blast from the past.
1. Doc's Soda Fountain, 133 S 2nd Street in Girard.
This vintage store was an actual pharmacy in the 1800s, and the soda fountain was added in the '50s. Adorable and charming, this little shop also sells ice cream and other sweet treats, and it also serves lunch and dinner. Guests enjoy the old-fashioned memorabilia on the walls while they shop and dine. Check out previous coverage of this place
2. Service Merchandise, various locations.
This was one of the first stores to sponsor
The Wheel of Fortune game show. It was a nationwide discount store for jewelry, sporting goods, and electronics that began in 1934 and was headquartered in Tennessee. Unfortunately, it was put out of business in 2002 by competing discount stores like Walmart.
3. Country Cheese and More, 205 S Vine Street in Arthur.
Located in Illinois' Amish town, this country general store is all about homemade goods and gourmet cheeses. You'll find handmade pies, cookies, and candies as well as items for lunch and dinner. Get more details about this Amish store
4. Zayre, various locations.
In operation from 1956 to 1990, this chain of iconic stores on the eastern half of the U.S. was headquartered in Massachusetts. It was once the fifth largest retail store in the country until it went out of business after focusing efforts on a new company, TJ Maxx.
5. Ames, various locations.
Once Zayre was out of business, it sold many of its stores to Ames, which was already established as a popular discount store. It filed for bankruptcy and folded soon after in 2002. Founded in Connecticut in 1958, it once had 700 stores in 20 states and was the fourth largest retailer in America.
6. Block & Kuhl, 124 SW Adams Street in Peoria.
Also known as "The Great White Store," this historic spot in downtown Peoria was built in 1905. It became one of most iconic stores in Illinois in 1914. This was the flagship location for Block & Kuhl which eventually expanded to 20 locations.
7. Caldor, various locations.
Founded in 1951, this well-loved store saw much success in the '70s and '80s before closing in 1999. It was known as "the Bloomigdale's of discounting" and was headquartered in Connecticut.
8. Mansfield General Store, 107 N Jefferson Street in Mansfield.
This is known as the oldest general store in Illinois. Also known as the Manly Building, it was constructed in 1895 and opened as a general store called "Enterprise" a year later. In 1979, it became the charming general store it is today, selling vintage toys, old-fashioned candies and baked goods, and ancient memorabilia. Learn more from previous coverage of this nostalgic place
9. Woolco, various locations.
Slightly better than the average five-and-dime store, this popular place opened in 1962 in Ohio and expanded to have stores across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. The American stores closed in 1983, and the Canadian franchise sold out to Walmart in 1994.
10. Woolworth's, various locations.
If you don't recognize Woolco, you will likely recognize its parent company, Woolworth. One of the most successful five-and-dime stores, it opened in 1878 and was headquartered in New York. It went out of business in 1997 but there are some still alive in other countries.
11. 1904 General Store, 322 E Broadway in Alton.
Find unique gifts and home decor, seasonal products, and a wealth of vintage sweets at the candy counter, like fudge and artisan chocolate bars, at this wonderful shop. As far as iconic stores go, this is one you'll never forget visiting.
to get more information about this intriguing place.
12. Gately's People's Store, 11201 S Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
Once known as the largest store on Michigan Avenue, this is one of the most iconic shops that used to exist in Chicago. The department store opened in the early 1900s and really thrived in the '60s. It closed in 1994 due to a poor economy.
For more historical places to go, check out these
11 abandoned attractions in Illinois before they whither away.
What other iconic stores do you remember from growing up in Illinois? Share your favorites with us below in the comments.
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