Mystery stores in Terre Haute, IN

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Andrew T.
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Mystery stores in Terre Haute, IN

Post by Andrew T. »

Last week, I braved the US-Canadian border to go on a seven-state trip to Nashville, Tennessee and back. One of the cities I passed through on the way was Terre Haute, Indiana, famous home of Columbia House and their "12 CDs for a penny" offers...and this city had a wealth of mysterious ex-retail buildings whose original provenance I'm completely in the dark about! Any guesses on any of these?

115 Walnut St:
IMG_0190r.jpg
600 S 3rd St:
IMG_0194r.jpg
333 S 3rd St (this building is a Frankenstein, but this part looks as if it were a retail building at one time):
IMG_0195r.jpg
Last edited by Andrew T. on 30 Jun 2022 19:36, edited 1 time in total.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
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Re: Mystery stores in Terre Haute, IN

Post by Andrew T. »

And two down the road...

138 W Honey Creek Pkwy (when I saw this store from afar, I almost thought it was an A&P Centennial at first):
IMG_0202r.jpg
4650 S US Hwy 41:
IMG_0204r.jpg
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Re: Mystery stores in Terre Haute, IN

Post by Groceteria »

The Goodwill on 3rd Street really feels automotive-related to me.

I'll see if I can find out any details on these this weekend.
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Re: Mystery stores in Terre Haute, IN

Post by rich »

Super market candidates: Kroger, Standard (National Tea), Eisner (Jewel), A&P and possibly Cub (they were in Indy). The last one, oddly, looks like an old MEMCO near where I work that has been subdivided. Terre Haute would have been too small and away from their core area, but maybe it started life as a long gone discount chain like Hills or Grant City, although the facade looks like it’s had more investment than those stores would have given. Ayr-Way was another discount chain--established by LS Ayres (Indy's upper middle brow store). They were all over Indiana. Later bought by Target who might have closed or relocated the store.

The Goodwill looks like an old small town car dealership—maybe built in the 40s or early 50s for one of the smaller makes like Nash or Studebaker and possibly a used car lot or some sort of repair business later on. Other common trajectories: Nash and Hudson dealers usually became American Motors (and later Jeep) dealers. Studebaker dealers sold Mercedes at the end and often became foreign car dealers or foreign car garages. Could also have been a dealer for a lower volume make that stuck around longer than the old indies: Buick, Oldsmobile, or Mercury.
Last edited by rich on 01 Jul 2022 08:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mystery stores in Terre Haute, IN

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Andrew T. wrote: 30 Jun 2022 19:34 Last week, I braved the US-Canadian border to go on a seven-state trip to Nashville, Tennessee and back. One of the cities I passed through on the way was Terre Haute, Indiana, famous home of Columbia House and their "12 CDs for a penny" offers...and this city had a wealth of mysterious ex-retail buildings whose original provenance I'm completely in the dark about! Any guesses on any of these?

115 Walnut St:


600 S 3rd St:


333 S 3rd St (this building is a Frankenstein, but this part looks as if it were a retail building at one time):
Per Chain Store Age, 115 Walnut was a Kroger that opened in 1954.
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Re: Mystery stores in Terre Haute, IN

Post by Groceteria »

Per newspapers:

333 S 3rd: Montgomery Ward

600 S. 3rd: McMillan's Sporting Goods (late 1960s/early 1970s, no listing in the 1960 city directory, which is the latest one I can access right now).

The others are newer than the papers I have access to,
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Re: Mystery stores in Terre Haute, IN

Post by Andrew T. »

BatteryMill wrote: 01 Jul 2022 00:21
Per Chain Store Age, 115 Walnut was a Kroger that opened in 1954.
Groceteria wrote: 05 Jul 2022 09:53 Per newspapers:

333 S 3rd: Montgomery Ward

600 S. 3rd: McMillan's Sporting Goods (late 1960s/early 1970s, no listing in the 1960 city directory, which is the latest one I can access right now).
Thanks for the detective work, guys!! 115 Walnut did seem the most "supermarkety" building of the lot.

Interesting to connect one of the sites to Montgomery Ward. I'm guessing that this was a 1960s free-standing store, and the building has been added onto by the current occupant.

This article indicates that 138 W Honey Creek Pkwy housed Antiques Crafts & Things and Sue’s Hallmark Shop before it housed Planet Fitness...but it probably was yet something else before that.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
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Re: Mystery stores in Terre Haute, IN

Post by BillyGr »

Andrew T. wrote: 05 Jul 2022 10:31
Groceteria wrote: 05 Jul 2022 09:53 Per newspapers:

333 S 3rd: Montgomery Ward

600 S. 3rd: McMillan's Sporting Goods (late 1960s/early 1970s, no listing in the 1960 city directory, which is the latest one I can access right now).
Thanks for the detective work, guys!! 115 Walnut did seem the most "supermarkety" building of the lot.

Interesting to connect one of the sites to Montgomery Ward. I'm guessing that this was a 1960s free-standing store, and the building has been added onto by the current occupant.
One other thing that comes to mind when Wards is mentioned is that they did have stores that were a combination of a store that people could shop in and a facility that was used for catalog orders as well.
Not to say that this is one of those, but it is always a possibility with them (and to some degree with Sears as well).
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