The Christman Bus


In 1959, the Christmas Bus offered holiday shoppers a free parcel checking station.


HUNTINGTON — At Christmas time in the 1950s, when people in
Huntington were ready to start their holiday shopping,
they knew exactly where to go — downtown.

Back then, downtown Huntington had seven —
 count ‘em, seven — department stores.

You could start your shopping at Anderson-Newcomb, Bradshaw-Diehl,
The Huntington Store, Montgomery Ward, O.J. Morrison,
J.C. Penney or Sears, Roebuck & Co.

Budget-minded shoppers might have found just what they were looking
for at one of downtown’s five 5- and 10-cent stores — W.T. Grant,
H.L. Green, Kresge’s, Silver’s or McCrory’s.

Or maybe you were looking for a nice blouse for Mom or a new
shirt and tie for Dad? If so, you had your choice of a
lengthy list of downtown clothing stores.

With all that shopping, you could soon find yourself lugging lots of
 packages from store to store. What to do with them? If you drove
 downtown, it was a simple matter of taking a load of packages
to your car, stowing them away and then heading
out for a second round of gift hunting.

But many shoppers in the ’50s didn’t drive downtown. They didn’t
own a car, so they had to take a bus to do their shopping. What
were they to do when they were burdened down with purchases?

In 1959, the Ohio Valley Bus Co. and the Retail Merchants
Association came up with a helpful solution to the
 problem — the Christmas Bus.

Parked on 9th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues, the specially
 decorated bus offered a free service to holiday shoppers.
They could check their packages at the bus
and return later to pick them up.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Dec. 24, 209.5


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