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Thursday, January 12, 2012

GOODBYE, OLD FRIEND: A FAREWELL TO S.P. DUNHAM

This was the beginning of the end for the downtown Trenton of my youth. With the proliferation of suburban malls and their adequate parking spaces, and with Trenton really hurting to provide convenient parking, a silver nail was driven into the heart of downtown Trenton. Gone forever was the courteous sales person who would go out of his or her way to satisfy you and assist with your purchase. Like the gas station attendant who cleaned you windshield and checked you fluids, gone was the mens' department store salesman who would never think of showing up for work without a shirt, tie, and jacket.

4 comments:

RALPH LUCARELLA said...

HI TOM...S.P. DUNHAM'S WAS LIKE HOME TO MY GOOD FRIEND SOPHIA DeANGELO. SHE WAS EMPLOYED THERE FOR AT LEAST 50 YEARS AND WAS IN CHARGE OF THE COSMEDIC DEPT. I STILL HAVE MANY OF THE SAMPLES SHE ACQUIRED FROM ALL THOSE COMPANIES AND MY DAUGHTER, BEVERLY, WORKED WITH HER FOR AWHILE. SOPHIA PASSED AWAY LAST YEAR, I BELIEVE SHE WAS IN HER LATE 80'S, MAY GOD BLESS HER AND MAY SHE REST IN PEACE. BEST REGARDS.

Anonymous said...

Fresh out of the military in the early 1970's I tried to purchase a Chevy pick-up from Bonderchuck out in Hamilton. But alas, though I had some money down I had no credit.

My savvy pal drove me over to Dunham's and told me to buy some socks. I protested that I did not need socks, nor did I need the Jockey shorts he tossed at me. But a few moments later I had a half dozen pairs of socks, some shorts and a tie or two. I was also in possession of my first credit card; from S.P. Dunham. Some wrenches from Sears and a sock drawer that was slowly filling a few years later found me driving a new Ford. That was the first and last car I ever bought on credit. If I couldn't save for it I couldn't afford it. I'll never forget that nice Dunham's gal helping me navigate those forms. I suppose your first "card" is as much a "Rite of Passage" as graduation or confirmation?

Ed Millerick

Anonymous said...

My Father, Henry Aronson, worked for Dunhams from the 1950s through the 1970s. Because of his experience owning and operating a carpet store on S. Broad Street with his Father, he started in Dunhams as Manager of the Carpet Department that was on the 4th floor, just off the elevator. He eventually took responsibility for other departments, including toys, and then became the Personnel Manager for the company. When Dunhams opened their first branch store located in the newly build Lawrence Shopping Center on Route 1, he was named the store's manager. If I remember correctly, Dunhams, and the Lawrence Shopping Center, was owned by Jules Aresty and Charles Levy. They eventually opened stores in The Independence Mall on South Broad Street in Hamilton Township, in the Willingboro Shopping Center and across the river in Morrisville. When the Lawrence Shopping Center expanded, Dunhams moved to a larger store with my Father still managing the store and also managing the entire complex.

Tom Glover said...

Great story, Mr. Aronson! These first hand accounts are a valuable part of history.