Pomeroy's, Reading, PA



Michael Lisicky turns his
attention to the history of
Pomeroy's and the results
are very fine indeed

Pomeroy's landmark store on Penn Street was built in stages from 1892 to 1957

Dives, Pomeroy & Stewart (Pomeroy's)
600 Penn Street
Reading, Pennsylvania

FRanklin 5-6111


READING STORE DIRECTORY (324,000 sq. ft.)

Basement
Pomeroy's Bargain Basement

Main Floor
Fine Jewelry 245 • Costume Jewelry 240 • Watches 245 • Watch Repair 245 • Handbags 250 • Accessories 229 • Gloves 230 • Neckwear 224 • Umbrellas 360 • Hoisiery 250 • Cosmetics 300 • Little Hat Shop 201 • Main Floor Shoes 210 • Dr. Scholl's • Main Floor Sportswear 146 • Main Floor Blouses 156 • Main Floor Lingerie • Notions 310 • Stationery 320 • Candy 800 • Bake Shop • Men's Furnishings 410 • Men's Sportswear 430 • Teen Man Shop 442 • Boys' Wear 445 • Boys' Furnishings 440 • Pomeroy's Tea Room

Mezzanine
Men's Clothing 400 • Men's Slacks 431 • Men's Shoes 460 • White Sewing Machine Center • Credit Office • Cash Office • Gift Wrapping

Second Floor
Fabrics 500 • Needlework • Domestics 540 • Pillows 560 • Bedspreads 570 • Linens 550 • China & Glass 650 • Gifts 650 • The Bar Shop 660 • Gourmet Gift Shop • Housewares 670 • Casual Furniture 675 • Small Electrics 671 • Major Appliances 710,  740, 730 • Hoover 720 • TV 775 • Radios 770 • Cleaning Aids • Health Aids 310 • Luggage 815 • Books 340 • Notions 305 • Photo Studio • Cameras 328

Third Floor
Sportswear 140 • Bouses 155 • Dresses 137 • Nite Life Shop • Lifestyle Shop • Pacesetter Shop • Dress Salon 190 • Shoe Salon 211 • Daytime Dresses 190 • Uniforms • Inexpensive Dresses 134 • Women's World 139 • Coats 110 • Suits 160 • Fur Salon • Bridal Salon • Millinery 200 • Wig Salon • Lingerie & Sleepwear 270 • Foundations 280 • Beauty Salon
Young World Infants' Wear 185 • Children's Wear 180 • Girls' Wear 170 • Pre-Teens' Wear 171 • Children's Shoes
Jr. World Junior Dresses 165 • Junior Sportswear 145 • Junior Coats 160

Fourth Floor
Rugs 620 • Floor Coverings 623 • Lamps 640 • Curtains 631 • Draperies 632 • Slipcovers 630 • Bedding 619

Fifth Floor
Fashion Furniture Living and Dining Room Furniture 605 • Bed Room Furniture 608 • Chairs 612 • Summer Furniture 615 • Photo Studio

Sixth Floor
Trim-a-Home 835 • Toyland 830 • Auditorium

First Floor Annex
Cameras 328 • Hobby Supplies 830 • Records 329 • Paint and Hardware 690 • Garden Shop 673 • Sporting Goods 820


BRANCH STORES

Harrisburg (1878)
Market Street at Third
201,000 sq. ft.












Wilkes-Barre
2 Public Square
135,000 sq. ft.










Pottsville (1892)
Center Street
79,000 sq. ft.










Levittown (1955)
Shop-a-Rama
241,000 sq. ft.
The Bucks County Room





Camp Hill Shopping Center (1958)
Camp Hill, PA
145,000 sq. ft.

Colonial Park Mall (1960)
Harrisburg, PA
137,000 sq. ft.

Lebanon (Sep. 12, 1963)
47,000 sq. ft.














Easton, PA (August 1, 1964)
Downtown














Willingboro Plaza (1965)
Willingboro, NJ
175,000 sq. ft.







Concord Mall (1971)
Wilmington, DE
181,000 sq. ft.


Wyoming Valley Mall (1971)
Wilkes-Barre
159,000 sq. ft.





Note:
See the Lit Brothers exhibit for the Berkshire and Neshaminy Mall stores that Pomeroy's assumed in the 1970s


44 comments:

  1. Oh Pomeroys! It is the time of the year I dream about the toyland on the 6th floor of Pomeroy's. I need to dig out my santa pics from there. Miss those times.....

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  2. Wonderful page on Pomeroy's!! I grew up shopping at the one in Willingboro when I was a kid. You did leave out the Pomeroys at Neshaminy Mall in Pa. although i think it was only a Pomeroys for a little while.

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  3. The reason why it was left out is because it is listed over at the Lit Brothers exibit

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  4. They also had a store in the Midway Shopping Center in Wyoming, PA. In the 1970s, it had a separate toy department with it's own store entrance.

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  5. Sorry for posting out of place, but I don't see a general posting area. In Pennsylvania, Boston Store is listed under Erie. There was also a Fowler Dick & Walker Boston Store founded in Wilkes-Barre in the 1870s. The store was bought by Lebanon, PA department store heir Albert Boscov in 1978, and reopened as a Boscov's location, with additional FD&W Boston Stores in Hazleton, PA and Binghamton, NY the following year.

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  6. Interesting. In the history of department stores, many different firms took the name "Boston Store." Examples of these stores were in Phoenix, AZ (later Diamond's), Chicago, Milwaukee, Erie, and Los Angeles, where the J.W. Robinson Co. was once known as "The Boston Store."

    BAK

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  7. Woodward & Lothrop of Washington, DC was also originally named The Boston Store.

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  8. Excellent site:
    The store in the Midway Shopping Center, Wyoming Pa. and the Wyoming Valley Mall Wilkes Barre Pa., both became THE BON-TON.
    James

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  9. I have a purple ysl neck tie that I pick up in a local thrift store that has a Pomeroy's tag on the smaller part of the tie.

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  10. The downtown Pottsville location closed & relocated when they built the nearby Frackville Mall.... Probably in the late 70's???

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  11. I WORKED AT POMEROYS IN HARRISBURG IN THE TEAROOM IN 1951 AND LOVED THE CINN0MON STICKS THE GHEF MADE FOR BREAKFAST. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO FIND THE RECIPE TO MAKE THEM.CAN ANYONE HELP ME

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  12. Can you tell me when the original Bon Ton Store opened in Lebanon, PA on Cumberland Street?

    DebbieSK

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  13. The Lebanon Daily News states that The Bon Ton of Lebanon was founded in June, 1896. That's about all I could find about its date of origin.

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  14. Hi BAK,
    I enjoyed your tour! I was born in Harrisburg and knew the Pomeroys well. I've written "The Bakery Girls" a story of another business that ran in those years: Stitt Bakery. I included scenes from Pomeroy's basement and Tea Room.
    Florence Ditlow

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  15. I remember shopping at the Pomeroy's in downtown Harrisburg when I was a little girl with my mother and sister and grandmother. We always had to visit the toy department!!

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  16. Pomeroy's bought out Easton's longtime Laubach's Department Store in 1964 and later moved to the Palmer Park Mall in nearby Palmer Twp in the late 70s/early 80s. That Pomeroy's later became part of The Bon Ton conglomerate, which originated in York, PA.

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  17. The Laubach's/Pomeroy's building in Easton then began a long decline as yet another vacant building in downtown Easton, PA for the next 30 years. It has recently been rehabbed and has apartments for sale.

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  18. I have a medallion on a keychain that says "If found please returnto POMEROY's Inc. Harrisburg, PA. On the back is a 6 digit number. What is this??
    Thanks,

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  19. Back in the early eighties I lived in South Jersey near the shore. On a Saturday afternoon poking around old antique shops and junk stores I found a couple of old Nancy Drew books from the early 1930's. Both of them have a Pomeroy's sticker inside the back cover marked 50 cents, along with some other numbers. I guess there's no way of knowing which Pomeroy's they came from unless someone could decipher the coding system. I've been wondering for years where Pomeroy's was and never knew until I found this page tonight. One of lifes mysteries almost solved. I loved those old department stores. I especially miss those old vacuum tubes. Just magical. My great Aunt Marie used to take me to Kaufman's in Pittsburgh when I was a kid back in the 'fifties. She also worked forty plus years at Royer's Department Store in Greensburg, Pa. Ah, the good old days.

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  20. I have a great picture of a an accident scene where a Pomeroy truck that had crashed into an Esso station just outside Harrisburg in the 50's. It's a pretty high-res scan at 16.5 MB that I got from the Cumberland County museum in Carlisle. It's got a lot of cool elements to it: the chief of police of the area is lighting the cigarette of a detective, everyone is in trenchcoats, a little girl and boy are looking at the rubble that was the storefront. Email me if you'd like a copy.

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  21. My dad was the furniture buyer for Pomeroy's for 30+ years, before that worked in major appliances and televisions after WWII. Lots of cool stories and memories. When they sold a tv they would take it out to the purchaser's home and broadcast from the truck so that the customer could see what the reception would be like once more television stations started broadcasting. Lots of great stories in the furniture department too. Just ran into a former Pomeroy's employee yesterday who knew my dad and many others. Would love to know if there are any employee lists from Harrisburg Pomeroy's for a trip down memory lane.

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  22. Pomeroys in Camp Hill, Pa was a super classy, traditional dept store. I loved shopping there. It closed in the late 1980's and I was so upset. Nothing else compared. They used the old fashioned mannequin displays on elevated platforms and enclosed some in plexiglass displays like they did in the 60's. Xmas decor was out of this world. It had a really warm, homey feel. And their mdse was top notch too. What a loss! The dept stores today have none of the feel. Cold, spare and sterile looking. Hate to say it but wish we could bring back the good old days!

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  23. I remember Christmas shopping at the downtown Harrisburg store. We would make a day of it and always would eat lunch at the restaurant upstairs. (I had my first Reuben sandwich there! DELICIOUS!) sitting there listening to Christmas music, looking down at all the beautiful decorations, watching all the shoppers. It's a "Mommy and me" memory I will never forget! Thank you Pomeroys !

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  24. I am doing my family's genealogy & discovered that one of my ancestor's was an Oren that owned Oren's Dry Good's or Dept. store...

    Does anyone know about this store & who owed it?

    I have Phillip Oren, but was wondering about Max?

    Please email me with any info you have.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Wendy
    ga_rosebud@bellsouth.net

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  25. I have a hat box top that reads IT CAME FROM Pomeroy's established 1876 I sell vintage hats and this was in some of the hats I purchased love to look up stores to find out how old my vintage hats are great web site thanks

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  26. You should look into Mary Sachs in Harrisburg and Lancaster, PA. Unbelievably unique store!! Much better than Pomeroys or Hess. Pomeroys had great Christmas windows, and Hess had the restaurant with models. Mary Sachs in Harrisburg was better than Lancaster. Mary Sachs was by far the greatest shopping experience of my lifetime. The PA State Historic Museum did an entire exhibit about Mary Sachs. There has been a book written about Ms. Sachs and the stores. Thank you for the trip back Memory Lane.

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  27. I worked evenings and weekends at the Pomeroys in Neshaminy Mall while I was in college. I handled the switchboard and gift wrap counter. My favorite part was making the announcements. The operations manager let me help manage the inventory my senior year as part of a project for my operations management class at Holy Family College. I met a lot of great people there and have fond memories. I still shop in the building, it is now a Boscovs.

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  28. I worked evenings and weekends at the Pomeroys in Neshaminy Mall while I was in college. I handled the switchboard and gift wrap counter. My favorite part was making the announcements. The operations manager let me help manage the inventory my senior year as part of a project for my operations management class at Holy Family College. I met a lot of great people there and have fond memories. I still shop in the building;it is now a Boscovs.

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  29. The Pomeroy's at 101 South Centre Street in Pottsville is now a Ramada hotel.

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  30. I have a brick from the torn down Reading store. My grandfather was George Pomeroy, Jr.

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  31. Wasnt there a pomeroys at the Coventry mall in Pottstown?

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  32. Ahh...the Tearoom on the mezzanine Market St., Harrisburg. CINNAMON STICKS grilled in butter (I later came to learn their proper name STICKIES at ye olde college diner in state college)... no not waxing nostalgic: I need a sugar fix! Of course the clacking of old escalators wouldn't hurt, and who was the one who had to empty all the basements filled with moving stairs?

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  33. Downtown Lebanon was a lovely place to shop when I was a young girl. A special highlight was going to Pomeroy's with my mother on a Friday night. In my memory, I can still explore each of the floors. Dreaming in front of the Madame Alexander dolls displayed in the toy department was one of my favorite activities, and thinking of it now makes me as happy as it did then.

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  34. In Greensburg, we had a great store (also owned by Allied Stores) called Trooutman's. It had about 6 or 7 branch stores in western Pennsylvania. Eventually Pomeroys took over 2 or 4 of the stores for a few years before they sold out to The Bon Ton. I recall that Pomeroys was classier and more refined.

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  35. The Pomeroys on Public Square in Wilkes Barre had awesome mechanical Easter displays on the outside canopy on the front of the store in the 1960's.. A huge egg opened up over main entrance of store to reveal bunnies, other bunnies on swingsets surrounded by flowers.. It was breathtaking!!!! Imagine the displays were lost in the 1972 flood that devastated center city WB??

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  36. There were two divisions of Pomeroys, the eastern part and western part.

    Moving from Cincinnati, my Father, J Edward Murray was President of the Eastern division until his death in 1983.

    The Eastern division was headquartered in Levittown.

    Interestingly enough JFK came and spoke in front of the store while he was running for President in 1960 and there was even a plaque commemorating the event.

    The store was torn down, in fact the entire shopping complex and to this date I have no idea what became of the plaque.

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  37. Late in their history there was in fact a Pomeroy's at Coventry mall. it was quite small but very nice. when the Pomeroy's name ceased to be used, that locat ion was closed. Boscov's built their strange crescent shaped store on that property.

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  38. Does anyone remember the one-armed man who ran the elevator at Pomeroy's in Reading? I assume he was a WWII vet. Oh the excitement add he opened those elevator gates to Toyland on the 6th floor!

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  39. I also have a brick from the reading store, and my grandfather was also George S Pomeroy, Jr. You must be my cousin!

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  40. Pomeroy's made it as far west as Greensburg PA, taking over the Westmorland Mall branch of Greensburg-based Troutmann's. Troutmann's had stores in downtown Butler, Clearview Mall/Butler, downtown Connelsville, and perhaps Laurel Mall in Uniontown.
    I am aware that Pomeroy's took over the Westmorland Mall branch but not the downtown Greensburg store.

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  41. i have entire bedroom suite circ. ? 1930' s. . really nice group of furn. made in Reading PA. from Pomeroy's,


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  42. Troutman's operated a large flagship store in downtown Greensburg PA. Troutman's operated only two mall stores--Westmoreland Mall nearby along Roue 30 and Washington Crown Centre (formerly Franklin Mall) in Washington PA. They also operated a number of small downtown stores in surrounding communities--Latrobe, Indiana, Butler, Connellsville, New Castle. When Allied Stores decided to close the Troutman's chain in the late 1980s, the two mall stores at Westmoreland (Greensburg) and Franklin (Washington) were converted to Pomeroy's. Later in the mid 1990s thanks to corporate raider Robert Campau, Allied Stores was broken up and The Bon Ton bought out the Pomeroy's change and soon merged them into their nameplate.

    An interesting side note: The Tripplett family, which was involved in management of Troutman's, worked out a deal with Allied to purchase and operate the profitable Latrobe, New Castle and Butler stores. The family made a valiant effort to run the three stores under the Troutman's nameplate, and tried to maintain a decent assortment of merchandise. Sadly it was impossible to merchandise three far flung downtown department stores and the stores shut down a few years later.

    The Laurel Mall in Connellsville held the only branch store of longtime downtown Uniontown PA anchor store Metzlers. Metzlers had a four floor and basement flagship in Uniontown and was always considered a better store; at one time Metzlers operated a multi-level furniture store diagonally across Main Street from their department store. Metzlers maintained a full service department store downtown until the late 1980s; even in the final years the store was stocked with better quality brands, although it was too small to offer designer lines. The Laurel Mall store dropped its home goods department and relocated offices to that area. Laurel Mall lasted a few years following the closure of the downtown store and the decline of the mall itself.

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  43. Thank you for the history - when I can gather enough information, I'd like to add these stores as exhibits since they are pretty significant.
    -Bruce

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  44. When I was a child, the early 60's, we shopped the Reading Pomeroy's, sat on Santa's lap and purchased Buster Brown shoes at the store. They moved to Berkshire Mall, Wyomissing, PA, which then become BonTon. Not sure what it is now, guessing Boscov's? Downtown Reading was fun, vibrant at that time.

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