IN OLD WASHINGTON (Dry Goods)
By James Croggon, The Evening Star, June 18, 1910 [pt. 2, p. 2]
When Washington had less than 15,000 persons, between 1820 and 1830, there had been established of dry goods, millinery and kindred stores in which the ladies were the principal customers.
In those days cassimeres, kerseys, bombazines, cambric, lawn, calicoes, linen, as well as silks, lace veils and shawls, Irish linen and Russia duck were in favor. The white merino shawl was in vogue for young ladies. Later the crimson shawl was thought indispensable by single women, as much so as the Russia duck trousers for men's summer wear. In millinery the leghorn hat was a favorite, but the matrons, affected the bandeau, with ostrich plumes.
As before stated, in the early days the merchants of Georgetown had the patronage of many Washington people and those who resided west of the Capitol did not mind walking there. For forty years Georgetown also did a heavy jobbing business. There were frequent auctions of dry goods by the bale, box or case, by which Washington stores were replenished.
A few of the latter, however, obtained their supplies from first hands, though the facilities for delivery were mostly by sailing vessel or wagon. Nevertheless those pioneers in the business kept up their stocks and were at pace with the progress of the times.
Among the Georgetown houses engaged in retailing dry goods were Henry Addison, D. Clagett, R. Osborne and Eleazer Peet, some of whom offered as much as 20 per cent discount to Washington customers. Georgetown retained much of the wholesale and jobbing trade, the firms of Riggs & Peabody, G.R. Gaither, W.W. Corcoran & Co., John Peabody & Co., and Isaiah Huddlestone being engaged therein. In Washington Moses Poor, Daniel Bates, J. Mauro, Micajah Tucker and Adams & Forrest were prominent auctioneers of dry goods.
Settlement Was Slow
Near the corner of 7th street, on Pennsylvania avenue, were the stores of John Stettinius, J.S. Clarke and William Ward on the north side of the Avenue. On the opposite side were the stores of William Rhodes and A. & H. Holmead; the millinery establishment of Mrs. Anne Sawyer and Miss Anne Pettigrew, and the fancy goods store of V. Massieu.
On the east side of 9th street, north of the Avenue, was a large fancy goods store, owned by Mrs. E. Fonde, and on the north side of the Avenue, west of 9th street, were the dry goods stores of Clement E. Coote, William Prout, jr., Gardner & Ennalls, Colstrom & Lockerman, and I.H.B. Norton. The fancy goods stores of Mrs. M. Sevear and the dressmaking parlor of Miss Mary Wedd, over Keyworth's jewelry store, were convenient to patrons, as were the millinery establishments of Maria Byrne, at the corner of 10th street, and of Mrs. Anne Easter, nearby.
Some Old Shops
On the north side of F street, between 13th and 14th, David Cochran carried a stock of dry goods. Jesse Dyer had a dyeing establishment nearby. Samuel Gardner, on the west side of 10th, between E and F streets; Mary Brittingham, on E street, between 9th and 10th, and John Pettit, on the north side of Pennsylvania avenue, between 4-1/2 and 6th streets were also dyers. On the south side of F street, between 11th and 12th, Mrs. Mary Hughes had a millinery shop. Mary Lewis, on the west side of 13th street, south of F street, was also a milliner, and Mary Sweeney kept a fancy goods store on F street between 12th and 13th. T.W. Pairo kept a dry goods store on F street near 13th, and John Telfair was a dry goods merchant in the first ward, on the Avenue west of 19th street.
The vicinity of the navy yard supported several dry goods stores. The patronage included the country people who entered the city by way of the Navy Yard bridge, the crews of the war vessels which lay in the river from time to time, and the residents of that section.
William Prout, the original proprietor of the grounds thereabout, had a store at the southwest corner of 8th and L streets; J. Jenkins, on the north side of L street, between 8th and 9th, and Gus Higdon, opposite. Samuel Hilton and James Spratt, on the east side of 8th street, were engaged in the dry goods trade, and Sallie Sedgwick, on the west side of 7th street, was theh leading milliner of that section. On East Capitol street, on the site of the library, William Emack had a dry goods store, in which he also kept groceries, that being a good stand for some country trade attracted by the Capitol Hill Market, in East Capitol street.
A Great Increase
On Market Space were the dry goods establishments of Perry & Ashby, W.R. Riley, R.W. Carter & Co., William M. Perry, E.T. Wall, R.C. Washington, Hall & Brother, R.E. Estep, H. Carter, D. Clagett & Co., Thomas Barnes and George W. Adams, as also the fancy stores of J.H. Gibbs and the millinery stores of Mrs. Sinclair and Mrs. M.A. France. On 9th street, just above the Avenue, was John Richey#39;s fancy goods store. On the north side of the Avenue between 9th and 10th streets, R.S. Smallwood and George Allen were the dry goods dealers, and there were the fancy stores of Selby Parker, Julius Visser, the Misses Robey, Mr. Claverdetscher, Mrs. Clitch and Mrs. H.L Morley, and the millinery of Mrs. Allen. On the opposite side of the Avenue were the millinery establishments of Mrs. Sarah Hamilton, Mrs. Morrell, Mrs. E. Sexsmith and Mrs. E. Lamphier.
East of 7th street, on the north side of the Avenue, George Stettinius had succeeded John Stettinius in the dry goods business, and nearby were the like establishments of Briscoe & Clark and J.H. Clark. On the south side of the Avenue were the like houses of william Egan & Sons and W.W. White. On 7th street, east side, between C and D streets, David S. Waters had dry goods with his house-furnishing goods and hardware. Mrs. Kehoe carried on a millinery business near the site of the present Odd Fellows' Hall. Mrs. Peddicord kept a millinery shop on the north side of E between 6th and 7th streets, as did Mrs. H. Martin, on the north side of F street near 7th. Mrs. Aller kept a fancy store on the west side of 7th street between H and I streets and on the square above, convenient to the country trade of Northern Liberty market, the dry goods stores of Charles Deveny, who had moved from near the site of the present Star office, Brown & Hyatt and J.W. Charke had been established.
On the Avenue between 10th and 11th streets was Mrs. E. Hill, milliner, on the south side, and opposite was the lace store of Bragdon & Twombly, which was later in the hands of King & Brother, who were succeeded by J.B. Tate & Brother. On the square between 11th and 12th streets John Allen was still at his old stand as a dry goods merchant, and nearby J.H. Edwards had a lace store and the Misses Pilling had fancy goods. Mrs. Delarue dealt in fancy goods on the north side of the avenue east of 13th street, and William Harper had a dry goods store nearby. Mrs. Catharine Lansdale, milliner, was located on the east side of 10th street between E and F street. Mrs. M.C. Daniel was so engaged on the south side of the Avenue west of 3d street, and P. Crerar had a fancy store on the north side east of 3d street. In the first ward Drury & Brother had a dry goods store on the south side of Pennsylvania avenue between 19th and 20th streets, and Mrs. Thompson, on H street, and Mrs.Steele at 21st and H streets, were the milliners of that section.
On Capitol Hill John Hitz, afterward consul general of Switzerland, carried on a dry goods business on B street between New jersey avenue and 1st street southeast. On the Navy Yard R.M. Coombs, on 8th street between I and K, and James Dodd, on 7th street between L and M, carried on the dry goods business, and Walter Evans, on L street between 3d and 4th, carried dry goods with groceries, etc.