Leggett's Department Store
3209 Washington Avenue
Downtown Newport News, VA 23607


3001 Washington Avenue
Downtown Newport News, VA 23607

1954 1956 Anchor, p. 147 1957 Anchor, p. 153 1958 Anchor, p. 163 1959 Anchor, p. 153
Newport News: A Centennial History,  John V. Quarstein and Parke Rouse, Jr., City of Newport News, 1996.
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 01/17/05
Thanks, Dave!
11/02/03 11/02/03 11/02/03 11/02/03
1960 Anchor, p. 181
3209 Washington Avenue
1961 Anchor, p. 174
3209 Washington Avenue
1962 Anchor, p. 204
3209 Washington Avenue
1963 Anchor, p. 205
3001 Washington Avenue
1964 Anchor, p. 189
3001 Washington Avenue
01/19/05 11/02/03 11/02/03 11/02/03 11/02/03

NOW: Nomad


Friday, November 14, 2003 - 3209 Washington Avenue 3001 Washington Avenue
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 11/14/03
Thanks, Dave!



I do have one question and that regards the address of Leggett's.
No doubt Nachman's was located on the northwest corner of 32nd and Washington.
But I don't believe that Leggett's was in the 3200 block of Washington Avenue.
I think it was at the corner of 30th and Washington.
I know it was there in 64/65, because Larry Harding worked at Leggett's.  
Am I wrong again?

- Wayne Stokes of VA - 10/29/03
Thanks, Wayne!

As listed in the 1954 City Directory, there is Leggett's in the 3200 block of Washington Ave!
They must have moved soon thereafter. I have no memory of them being, as listed, at that location.
At that time, 1954, I do not believe I had ever gotten past the Paramount Theater in downtown.
Had I gone one more block, I would have seen Leggett's.
Whether or not I would have remembered it at that location is doubtful.

 It could be a case of "right and right". In that, they obviously WERE at 3209 Washington Avenue,
but by the time I got to the point of "roaming" the downtown streets, they had moved to where I remember them as being located.

 I'll leave it at that!

- Wayne Stokes of VA - 10/31/03
Thanks, Wayne!

AHA!  You were right, Wayne! 
Apparently, Leggett's did some roaming of it's own before the 1963 Anchor was published.
Thanks for being so alert!

- Carol Buckley Harty of NC - 11/02/03

My mother retired from Leggett's when it was downtown and at Newmarket. 
She worked in the infant and toddler department.

- Glenn Dye ('60) of TX - 11/01/03
Thanks, Glenn!

I was just reading the e-mail concerning the location of Leggett's. 
Leggett's was not on the corner of Washington Avenue.
If you were standing across the street facing the 3200 block,
Nachman's was on the corner of 32nd Street and next came Leggett's.
Then there were one or two shoe stores, possibly
Hofheimers and Oser Brothers, before 33rd Street. 
On the  corner of 33rd Street was Hanna's Dress Shop. 
Leggett's did have a side door opening onto 33rd Street
behind the one or two shoe stores that faced Washington Avenue. 
These are the memories of  my husband who worked part-time at Nachman's
and my sister who worked at Leggett's. 
I hope this helps.

- Joyce Lawrence Cahoon of VA - 11/03/03
Thanks, Joyce!

It is good to see that we have more memories coming forth regarding our beloved Newport News and in particular, downtown.

The location of Leggett's, which has become an obvious "moving target", continues to be an issue of debate.
Again, I state that we have memories that produce a case of "right and right".
That is, according to each specific time period, all that have contributed are correct!

In addition to Glenn Dye's information about his mother giving long and good service to Leggett's,
including time at "Newmarket North Mall" and retiring, comes Joyce Lawrence Cahoon with some good information.

In 1954 Leggett's was indeed in the 3200 block of Washington Avenue,
across the street from Nachman's; not on the same side of the street.
As I recall Hofheimers was directly across the street from Nachman's (east side of Washington), 
and the back of the store actually nearly touched the "Y".
When you looked out of the side windows of the "Y", you saw the back of Hofheimer's.
At it's location in the 3200 block of Washington, Leggett's was NOT on the corner.
That is correct. However, when they moved to 30th and Washington, they WERE on the corner.

On the west side of Washington at 33rd street was indeed, Hanna's.
That would have been directly across the street from the Paramount, which was on the east side of Washington.
Nachman's remained at the corner of 32nd. and Washington, north-west corner. Get out your compass!
I also remember, at some time, a Thom McCann's shoe store being in the 3200 block of Washington near 33rd,
on the same side of Washington as Nachman's.

What we need is for Dave Spriggs to once again show his outstanding research work,
by revisiting his sources and "nailing down" a date as to when Leggett's moved to 30th and Washington.
Boy, it's easy to assign additional work to someone else! Go get 'em, Dave!!

Take Care!

P.S. You may need to CORRECT ME as to which side of the street Leggett's was located in '54,
as well as the name of the store that backed up to the "Y".
The more I think about it, the less sure I am of that store's (backed up to the "Y") name.
It was a shoe store, of that I'm certain. I think the time periods are giving everyone trouble.


- Wayne Stokes of VA - 11/05/03
Thanks, Wayne!

I keep adding to this mailing, because this is one place that I can note as where I began to get into trouble!
All the other times were just plain luck.
I'm back again with a tag line similar to "American Graffiti" - "Where were you in '62?" except I must add '54.
I am again revisiting Leggett's, et al.

Regarding the 1954 City Directory, Leggett's was indeed on the same side (west) of Washington Avenue as Nachman's.
The "odd" number addresses were on the west side and the "even" numbered ones were on the east side of Washington Avenue. 
Additionally, Oser Brothers and Hofheimer’s were on the same side of Washington (54) (and side by side), as was Nachman's.
I don't remember that? But, there they are in the directory.

In '54, listed at 3200-02, is Blechman's "Youth" Center - or Blechman's "something" -
I don't have the page in front of me - which was NOT there during my roaming days of downtown and the "Y".
As stated, "A" shoe store backed up to the "Y" in the 60's.
That I do remember, although not as sure of the store's name as I once thought!

Also, in the '54 directory are listed a number of business addresses on the east side of Washington
in the 3200 block - a barber shop, Florida Orange, Bank of Hampton Roads,
and one I remember, but NOT in the 3200 block of Washington - Colonial Restaurant @ 3212!
I remember it being somewhere in the 3000 block!

That corner, 32nd and Washington, was one that was central to all of us during our time at NNHS.
It was "right at" the "Y". Remember, LaVogue?
Didn't it "sit" on the corner across from Nachman's and in front of the Palace Theater,
which would have been across Washington Avenue facing it?

The one thing that concerns me the most and I mean the ABSOLUTE MOST,
is that I don't offend anyone's memories that may differ from mine on this subject! That is not even in my thoughts!

I am positive, do to the already verified "moving" of stores from one place to another,
that all are "right" depending upon the "time period" in question.

I also remember the "beginning of the end" of downtown.
LaVogue, Nachman's, and Shoney's moved to a place just north of Hilton Village on Warwick Blvd. called Warwick Center.
I THINK that was sometime in the 70's? That place is now but a shadow of what it was.
All 3 mentioned above are gone!

Again, my main concern is NOT to offend!

Take Care!

- Wayne Stokes of VA - 11/06/03
Thanks, Wayne!

   Wayne, thanks so much for all your input! 
I would venture a guess that no one is offended by your efforts in helping us to “reconstruct” Downtown to its former glory! 
I certainly appreciate all of it, as I do all those helping with this! 
 Indeed, I’ve not enjoyed anything so much as this in recent memory.

   Speaking of memory, I’m also very much impressed with yours! 
As you know, having survived three small strokes, my own memory is somewhat, um, lacking. 
And having toured downtown Newport News several times lately,
I must say I was completely disoriented and unable to place anything in its proper location.

   I keep asking Dave Spriggs to go back and get more shots of absolute nothingness
for the “Now” shots in an effort to get some bearings,
so that on my next visit to the area I might not be so astonished – maybe.

   As for the proper locations, I wouldn’t dream of relying on my own so-called memory,
as I’m always impressed by the paltry strands which remain as so much is gone. 
For instance, try as I might, I’ve no recollection whatsoever of the earlier Leggett’s site!

   Therefore, when I publish something, be assured that I have nabbed its address
from the ’54 City Directory which Dave provided,
or from the Advertising sections of the ’55 to ’59 Anchors
which I borrowed from my sister, Eleanor,
and/or my own from ’61 to ’65.

   And as you mentioned Blechman’s Youth Center,
once again I remember only its Newmarket store. 
But in consulting the Anchors, the ’57 lists only the downtown location at 3202 Washington Avenue,
’58 ran no ad, ’59 and ’61 list both locations (downtown AND Newmarket),
’62 again ran no ad for them, and ’63 lists only the Newmarket address. 
So as my great niece Laura would say, “Well, THAT’S interesting!”

- Carol Buckley Harty of NC - 11/06/03

Carol, I have been involved in municipal civil engineering since VaTech and wanted to weigh in on Leggett's.

Streets are numbered from a city's center outward. 
Interestingly enough, the right side of the street has even numbers. 
Latin root: right is dextra, from which we get 'dexterity', a good thing. 
The left side had odd numbers.  Latin root:  left is sinistra, from which we get sinister, a bad thing. 
The exception is the orient, where age is valued.  House #1 on a street means it was the first house built. 
In later years, it could be right beside house #100, the newest house.  Isn't that funny? 

The fact that the '54 directory shows Leggett's @ 32--? Washington means that it was beyond 32nd Street. 
It may have moved but I really remember the shop on the west side of Washington
in the block south of Nachman's was The Parisian Shop, ladies' specialty. 
The China Palace was next door to it - fine china and crystal goods. 
Nachman's was where everyone remembers it and Hofheimer's was directly across the street on the east side. 
I don't remember Oser's being in NN but on Queen St. in Hampton. 
My older brother had a summer job there and I went to NNHS while living in Hampton. 
Mr. Oser built a new Hampton store in the early 70s as a part of the Hampton re-development. 
But he could have had a NN store. 

I'll call City of NN assessor's office to see if they still have their Sandford Maps. 
These were the benchmark maps for all cities until about 1960 when cities began to do their own mapping. 
We still have the maps in Hampton but they are only an archival resource now. 

- Kathleen Pilgrim Clark ('63) of VA - 11/06/03
Thanks, Kathleen!

  Last Sunday when I made my weekly phone call to my Mom,
I asked her what street Leggett's was on since she worked there for a short time.
She insists it was at the corner of 31st and Washington.
My Mom may be 87 years old but has a mind like a steel trap and never lets me forget it.

Ann Allen of FL - 12/03/03
Thanks, Ann!

I rarely shopped at Nachman's.......a little too expensive for my pocketbook.  My favorite store and where I got my very
first charge card was Leggett's.  Although Washington Avenue was a little drive from my house in Hampton, those
were the glory shopping days!!  In and out of Leggett's, Woolworth's, Hofheimer's, Butler's, Montgomery Ward, et al. 
When they opened a Leggett's in downtown Hampton, I was thrilled since I lived so close.  However, it just wasn't
the same as downtown Washington Avenue.  :(

- Gloria Woolard Price (HHS - '65) of FL - 08/19/06
Thanks, Gloria!

I mostly shopped at Leggett's, but I think I made a few purchases at Nachman's.  I certainly remember and was fascinated
by the tubes for sending payments upstairs to the office.  I don't remember eating there.  I am not sure, but I might
have bought my wedding gown at Nachman's (in 1962).  I remember being at a store having a bridal show, and the 
gown was being modeled.  I really liked the gown and the price.  I cannot imagine any other store being large enough
to have a show, except Leggett's, which probably did not do that type of thing.

- Nat Woolard Cunningham (HHS - '60) of FL - 08/19/06
Thanks, Nat!

My mom had a credit card at Nachman's and I used to love when she would get her monthly billsand there would be 
perfumed sample cards in the bills.  I remember specifically dragging mom to Nachman's one Friday night.  I wanted
to get a new pocketbookand I ended up buying a brownish all leather bucket bag -- I loved itI loved Nachman's and

La Vogue
(when I got older).  I never liked
Leggett's, but sometimes had to shop there.  I might not have had a ton of clothes
in high school, but I had some nice thingsand I knew how to sew skirts.

- Kathy Mooney Abrams (Hampton HS - '64) of NY - 08/19/06
Thanks, Kathy!

My mother, Virginia Howard, and father James Wesley Howard lived in 305 Ferguson Park in 1944 through 1949 in Hornet Circle.
Some of her friends were Dorothy and Charles Yost, who had a son named Chick. She was also friends with the Jackie Engle family.

Mother is age 93 and living in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. She has four children; Glenn, Bobby Doyle, Rose, and Alice.

She has fond memories of Bill's Barbecue, picking up fish off the beach, baking rolls and ice tea with Brenda Facin. She recalls going to town on the bus with three children in tow. She recalls Leggett's, Anderson-Newcomb, and LaVogue stores. She remembers the Capital Restaurant downtown. The mothers all helped one another while the husbands and fathers were at work. The park was a wonderful place to gather. The landscaping was beautiful.

She would like to hear from anyone who remembers her.

Her address is:
Virginia Howard
240 Westminister Street
Prestonsburg, KY 41653

- Phillip Price - 02/16/14
WOWZERS! Thanks so much, Phillip!

(This page was created on 11/02/03.)

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