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Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.

Posted by mrchuck 
Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
August 19, 2010 10:08AM
Sure enjoyed those old memories about going to the Sears Store. My family always called it Sear's and Roebuck, and told me the history of it many times.
When growing up, my family always bought the car tires there. We had quite a few cars, and all were on Sear's tires.
When we drove into an open stall, my Father would ask for the battery "quick charge" on the battery, while we shopped.
They offered this service. The mechanic would take out the 6 volt battery, take it into a "charging room", and put it on a rack and hook up the red and black 6 volt leads.
Yes, all cars were 6 volts dc back then. I can still smell that pungent acid smell, and the bubbling sounds, and the small sparks when the 2 charging spikes were placed in the + and - posts. They had a little hammer that they knocked these spikes in tightly.
I memorized it all, as if it was a chemistry experiment.
An hour would go by, and my Mother or Father said it is time to go. A mechanic would appear and take our battery off the rack, re-install it, and start the car. My Father would pay the bill,,,,1.00 dollar.
Many years later in life as a teenager, I became Chape Chapin's expert at 15 year's of age, and ran his battery charging room and service, which was exactly like Sears and Roebuck. Oh, my wages were .75 cents an hour, and it all showed up on my Social Security statement, all of us have when we get SS.
If you like,,,,more later on "Sears" tire failures.
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
August 19, 2010 01:25PM
i remwember sears tires well the were not silver town i mis spoke they were allstate also remember western auto, davis tires the manager at western auto told me i did not have to have the receipt to get davis tire warrnty it just needed to say davis on the side i always had good luck with western auto equipment wizard batterys,wizard parts, tools and spark plugs



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 11/29/2012 05:53PM by rojinks.
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
August 19, 2010 01:25PM
i remwember sears tires well the were not silver town i mispoke they wewere allstate, also remember western auto, davis tires the manager at western auto told me i did not have to have the receipt get davis tire warranty it just needed to say davis on the side i always had good luck with western auto equipment wizard batterys,wizard parts, tools and spark plugs



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 10/18/2012 07:50PM by rojinks.
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
August 19, 2010 01:41PM
I had a friend who work for Sears on Ross back in the mid 70s,and he contacted me one time to let me know that Sears was getting out of the VW Engine business and said they were selling their VW Engine stock of 40hp engines for $25 each. They had 25 to get rid of. But at that time,us VW nuts were yanking out the 40hp (1200 cc) and putting in 1600cc engines,so we really didn't have any use for them.Plus really couldn't afford it at the time and had no place to put them. Only if I had those now to sell to restorers, I could get rich. They were supposedly brand new complete German Engines. But anyway, just thought some might find it interesting that Sears was in the VW engine business. Which is just the tip of the Iceburg on what Sears used to sell.
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
August 20, 2010 07:58AM
I used to buy lots of bicycle parts at the Western Auto at Greenville and Ross. I still have an 8" "Westline" adjustable (crescent) wrench that I bought there.
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
October 16, 2012 02:32PM
There are a series of limestone reliefs now at the base of the Fiesta sign at this site. The six crests represent (I assume) the 6 flags/countries of Texas history. The representations are atypical of the normal flags used and have always caught my eye. A 1996 article confirms that "The new [Fiesta] store incorporates decorative medallions rescued from the old Sears building."

Any idea of where these once hung on the building? Looking at historic photos (and having never seen the building in person), I don't see them visible on the exterior.













Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
October 16, 2012 06:34PM
I can't help with the plaques, although they are very interesting to say the least. The last photo, however, is a BIG puzzle. It seems, based on the cars in the parking lot to date c. 1970 or a little bit later. My memory, and I was in that building too many times to count from the late 40s to the late 60s, says the photo is looking northeast, but I don't recall every seeing a building even remotely the size of the one in the background on what would have been the place where Greenville intersected with Ross---or just south of that intersection.

...and there is no apostrophie in SEARS.

Mike
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
October 16, 2012 06:56PM
I think it's looking northeast. Here's the photo in the recent Lost Dallas book for reference (with an aerial shot):

[books.google.com]
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
October 17, 2012 08:58AM
Great photos in that link! I can see in the aerial photo that the structure I couldn't identify is adjacent to Sears--maybe even a part of it-- and is not as large and looming as the ground photo makes it look. I seem to recall that there may have been a resturant or supper club in there.

Mike
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
October 17, 2012 06:27PM
I can remember the WPA-Post Office style murals in the Sears very well, but not the plaques, tho they are consistent with the theme of the store's murals. At one point there was, I believe, a men's clothing store in the triangle behind the Sears.
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
October 17, 2012 07:39PM
YES! I had totally forgotten about the murals, but they were there. Thanks for the reminder. I think, but may be a bit confused, that the men's clothing store was a Robert Hall's which was mentioned recently on this board. However, I think it was across the street to the east along with an auto parts store. My memory may be a bit scrambled here.

Mike
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
October 17, 2012 08:20PM
There was a Sears on Lamar, too. When did it cease to be? The last I heard it is now lofts and studios for artists. I remember as late as the 1st part of the 60's it was still functioning. as a department store. Jim



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/2012 08:21PM by jgoodman.
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
October 17, 2012 10:32PM
jgoodman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There was a Sears on Lamar, too. When did it cease
> to be? The last I heard it is now lofts and
> studios for artists. I remember as late as the 1st
> part of the 60's it was still functioning. as a
> department store. Jim


The huge catalogue warehouse on Lamar also closed in 1993. The first residents moved into the renovated building in 2000.

[dallaslibrary2.org]

The old Dallas Coffin Company building — later part of the Sears complex — just reopened as the NYLO Hotel.

[www.nylohotels.com]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/2012 10:36PM by dfwcre8tive.
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
October 18, 2012 07:55AM
I'm pretty sure the plaques were on the Ross Avenue side, and they were way up on the building, near the roof, widely and evenly spaced on the building. The B&W picture above was taken from the Henderson Avenue side. I can remember buying a battery or two at the Auto Center across the street.
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
November 28, 2012 12:11AM
I lived about 3 blocks from that location for 27 years (mid 70's to about 2004). The Sears left years before I did.
The black and white photo is totally foreign to me. It predates me. The building was probably refaced significantly as I never saw the murals, but had heard of them. I don't remember any upper storey windows. I never saw the decorative plaques, and wondered at the signage about them at the Fiesta and tacky strip mall that replaced it.
It's hard to believe that Sears couldn't survive there... a huge inner city neighborhood with no other department store for many miles. Unless you went downtown and paid for parking.
On the sw corner of Ross and Henderson, nestled up to Sears was an independent battery and/or tire shop. Perhaps it had once been a gas station. (It had a canopy covering the work area in the front.)
Going south along Henderson was (is) next door a building that housed a "dinner theater" and a scanty underwear store, probably at different times. What looks like a one storey buff colored brick building has an outer cement staircase curving upward. To the roof or second storey? I don't know. It's across from the Good Will.
But I digress. The Sears automotive department had drive through service bays. At one point my Dodge van was due for inspection but alas, it wouldn't shift into reverse. With careful planning this was a non-issue. For many months. It appeared to me that the ability to back up was not a listed requirement to pass the test and the drive through bays were a solution. Not!
Leslie
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
November 28, 2012 12:26AM
eeeek!
I meant Greenville, not Henderson regardng the corner at Ross with the battery/tire shop.
Also, I don't recognise the large building behind the Sears in the photo. Meaning it wasn't there later.
Leslie
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
November 28, 2012 09:56AM
mreagant Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> YES! I had totally forgotten about the murals,
> but they were there. Thanks for the reminder. I
> think, but may be a bit confused, that the men's
> clothing store was a Robert Hall's which was
> mentioned recently on this board. However, I
> think it was across the street to the east along
> with an auto parts store. My memory may be a bit
> scrambled here.
>
> Mike

There was a Robert Hall (not Hall's, though it was usually called that) store very near to the Sears. Robert Hall was not just a men's store, but had inexpensive clothing for the whole family. There was one in Oak Cliff, also, Fort Worth Avenue near Hampton, I believe. Robert Hall made it possible for me to have presentable clothing during my teen years.

Dave McNeely
bob
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
January 26, 2013 05:46PM
I was talking with Billy Joe Shine of The Nightcaps a while back. I asked him if he still had to work after his song "Wine Wine Wine". He said he worked at the Sear's store and met a girl there named Carol Ann, and that they had been married for 50 plus years now.
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
January 26, 2013 08:35PM
I worked for Sears at the mail order warehouse on Lamar in the early '60s. I was working down there when Kennedy was shot.

They also had a warehouse for mail order at the old cotton warehouse farther down on Lamar.

I was in the automotive department.

We still were filling orders for Sears Allstate automobile parts. It was a Henry J with Allstate's name on it.
Re: Sear's and Roebuck On Greenville Ave.
January 27, 2013 08:13AM
jgoodman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There was a Sears on Lamar, too. When did it cease
> to be? The last I heard it is now lofts and
> studios for artists. I remember as late as the 1st
> part of the 60's it was still functioning. as a
> department store. Jim

William Owens includes a description of working at the Lamar Street Sears center in his book, _This Stubborn Soil_
( [www.goodreads.com]. ). His time working there was around 1920, and he worked in the warehouse pulling items for shipping to retail customers. The book also includes excellent descriptions of the East Dallas neighborhood centered on the Santa Fe tracks perhaps near East Side and Columbia Blvd., and the Oak Cliff neighborhood east of the then new Sunset High School, which Owens hoped to attend but never got to because of the necessity of working.

The book is well worth anyone's time to read, and its sequel is also. They describe Owens' growing up in North Texas in the early part of the 20th century, the struggle for education, schools of the time (Owens was both a pupil and a teacher in a one room school near Paris), his experiences in Dallas working in various capacities as a teenager (including a stint at the original Jesuit High School, then called University of Dallas I believe). Despite his humble beginnings and the lack of any education whatsoever of most of his family and community members, Owens, through persistence and effort, ultimately became an anthropologist of some note, and a professor and dean at Columbia University.

The edition reviewed at the link I posted is edited by John Graves, another Texas writer of importance.

Dave McNeely
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