1970s Photos

Fairhaven Cash Grocery:  Tenants through the Years

The building’s first tenant was Mayer-Smith Grocery Company, which opened with a large inventory of staple and fancy groceries in the new building on April 29, 1891. This business was followed by the C. B. Willyard Co. that occupied the building from 1901 to 1905 offering "High Grade Groceries" and a delicatessen. (Nels) Anderson & Lind Grocery became the store proprietors around 1905, succeeded four years later by Frank Lind and his brother Helmuth, who operated it as Lind Brothers' Fairhaven Cash Grocery. J. Clyde Campbell and Knute Brotnov bought the Fairhaven Cash Grocery in 1919. 

Following Brotnov’s death, Brown & Cole purchased half-ownership of the business. Clyde Campbell remained the store’s manager and, in 1924, he became a director on the Brown & Cole board.

While Fairhaven Cash Grocery had not offered purchases on credit, that changed when the store was bought by Brown & Cole. Mitch Fink, a native South Side resident, recalled that Brown & Cole would "carry” unpaid grocery bills of Slavic fishermen’s families for as long as a year. Mitch remembers that the first thing his father would do upon being paid at the end of the fishing season was to pay Brown & Cole and the meat market.

1970s renovation
In 1947, Brown & Cole sold the store to Clyde Campbell and Purley Atkins, who changed the name to Fairhaven Grocery. The store continued until 1972 when the building was purchased by Ken Imus. The building was renovated, the exterior stucco which covered the exterior brick was removed and an additional story, along with a big round window, was added.

Village Books opened in the Fairhaven Cash Grocery Building in 1980. The bookstore moved in 2004 into a new three-story building next door but continues to occupy the basement of the Grocery building. According to Ramon Heller’s "Please the Customer First: The Brown & Cole Story,” this basement was, back in the grocery store days, often filled with debris swept through a trap door in the floor above and emptied every few months.

Since 1985, the Fairhaven Cash Grocery Building’s first floor has been occupied by Village Books' sister-company Paper Dreams.


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