No season encourages more nostalgia than Christmas. The traditional foods, the smell of a fresh-cut fir, the holiday dinners, the toys you asked for and the toys you received. As a city, we look back, too, on shopping downtown, visits with Santa, the lights up and down Cherry Street and the Christmas Parade. When Maconites celebrated Christmases past, the holidays meant a trip downtown to buy gifts.
Joyland Toy Shop
Joyland Toy Shop in Ingleside Avenue offered some of the greatest and most enduring toys in the Macon market. Hula hoops, model airplanes, Gumby, Play-Doh and Matchbox cars were wrapped beautifully with red curly ribbon and a candy cane tied on top found their way under the tree on Christmas mornings thanks to shop owner Gus B. Kaufman.
Once the largest mercantile establishment in the state of Georgia, the Dannenberg was an upscale department store on the corner of Third and Poplar. Electric train displays in big glass cases in the storefront windows would draw lots of onlookers everyday during the holiday season. From their large selection of Comic Books to the Christmas Shop, Dannenberg’s was a one-stop shop during the holidays.
Generations of Maconites remember fondly conversations on Santa’s lap Shoppers could find thousands of attractive gift items on display during the holidays at JJ Newberry’s. Placards with bright holiday borders filled the store windows alongside toys that were enticingly arranged to catch every boy and girl on Santa’s Good List.
Ed Wells Trick & Novelty Shop
Back then, each store in downtown Macon was unique and had its own personality, and Ed Wells Trick & Novelty was no different. A magnet for kids, the Second Street trick shop was run by Ed and Alice Wells who were once known for their mind reading act “Webster The Mastermind” in Vaudeville. Itching powder, incense, stink bombs, cat bones, gag gifts, magic tricks and fake vomit filled the display shelves as kids poured in on Saturday’s following the matinee movie. After the death of Mr. Wells, his widow continued to run the store until it closed in the late 70s.
Davison’s Deparment Store
Today, most people relish the memories of the life-sized mechanically moving people displayed alongside Santa in Davison`s storefront windows, an annual treat for shoppers old and young. Boys playing with pop guns and girls with dolls in the toy department and mannequins that were edged by elves and reindeer, posed in the holiday fashions of the day. Davison’s holiday displays included Christmas trees, floral arrangements and even appearances by Mr. Claus
posted 12/01/2017 in