Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Federal Department Store Archive through February 11, 2008 Previous Next
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Jiminnm
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Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 1593
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 12:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You're right Living, when I read your comment the name Harvey Leach came to mind. He was involved with Joshua Doore.

That name still lives on, albeit in South Africa.
http://www.jdgroup.co.za/2007/ annualreport_2006/revops_joshu a_doore.htm
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Dogperson
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Username: Dogperson

Post Number: 6
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 12:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I used to work at the Federal's (Schaefer and Michigan)1956-1957 era. Started at 55cents a hour and then got a nickel raise after three months to 60 cents a hour. I always remember the big sales they had, especially one where Levi's were $3.00 a pair. The department sold 800 pairs in one day. Oh the gool old days
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 2512
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 12:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey Skulmaty, Dogperson - welcome to the board ! Watch your backs in here, can be rough.
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Living_in_the_d
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Username: Living_in_the_d

Post Number: 51
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 12:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah,Jiminnm, thats way cool. kudos on that find,.
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Norwalk
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Username: Norwalk

Post Number: 197
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 1:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes there was a Federal's at Universal Mall where the Value City is now located. I shoplifted my first item from there.
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Lmr
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Username: Lmr

Post Number: 119
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 2:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There was a Federal's in downtown Wyandotte. It's where the Wyandotte City Hall is now, on Biddle. There was also a Federal's at Southgate Shopping Center at Eureka and Trenton Rd. in Southgate, at the far end along Trenton Rd. I can't remember what is in that location now.

Federal's used to supply girl scout uniforms.
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Smogboy
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Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 7084
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 2:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Another fond memory of Federals (the Seven Grand location) was that it was the first time I ever recall seeing a pay bathroom stall. My poor little brother had just finished a small frozen Coke at the Kresge's down the mall aways and suddenly felt the call of nature. My mom had dragged the both of us into the women's bathroom (this was obviously LONG before the days of unisex or family bathrooms) and had to fumble around for a dime before shuttling my poor brother into the stall to do his business.

To this day I recall it like little Ralphie did in "The Christmas Story"- a slight fuzzy haze and yet the awkwardness of that day still remains.

What were people thinking back then when they installed pay stalls?? And the indignation of being dragged into the ladies bathroom with your mother... ugh, the mental scarring.
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Chuckjav
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Username: Chuckjav

Post Number: 364
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 2:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't want to threadjack....but, can't get the Joshua Doore TV jingle out-my-head.

"We've got brand name furniture at discount prices, and you won't have to wait.
Pick it out in the showroom, pick it up at the warehouse...take it home in a crate" - you've got an uncle in the furniture business...Joshua Doore"!
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Onthe405
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Username: Onthe405

Post Number: 37
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 2:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There was also a store at Gratiot & Frazho (10 1/2 Mile) Eastgate Shopping Center in Roseville. My folks bought my first bicycle there.

Certainly not condoning West's strategy, but Federal's days were numbered anyway. K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy et al. mowed over Arlen's, Federals', Shopper's Fair, EJ Korvette, Zody's and (nationally) Montgomery Ward.

There are a combination of factors that drive this: one is that the gap in economic classes continues to widen. Nordstrom & Saks are doing relatively well, as are the aforementioned discount stores.

The other is that we as a society have determined we would like to own lots & lots of disposable cheaply made junk rather than fewer high quality items. This is driven largely by technology--why would a consumer invest in an expensive item that will be outdated in a few years? It might matter for a Burberry overcoat, but not a computer or cell phone.

JCP, Sears, and Macy's are scrambling for market share as their customer base continues to shrink. In general, they don't provide cache for the designer/status conscious consumer and their prices are too high for the voracious appetite of the gadget-collecting masses & the poor.

Retail by nature is also dynamic and cyclical--constantly changing with customer tastes and particularly vulnerable to quick-cash, power & ego driven mergers/acquisitions.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 6293
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 3:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From what I remembered... Harvey Leach (Joshua Doore) was found dead in the trunk of his car...
on his wedding day!! A mob hit.

(Message edited by Gistok on February 11, 2008)
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Chuckjav
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Username: Chuckjav

Post Number: 365
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 3:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes....I remember the murder; something about Leach owing a substantial sum of money.
I believe that the body was discovered in a car parked at Metropolitan Airport
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Oldredfordette
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Username: Oldredfordette

Post Number: 3866
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 3:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Because my mother worked there, I was always allowed to use the employee bathroom. Once I was in the store and they had a new security guard, he wouldn't let me in the employee lounge and I had to use the pay one. Ugh! Privilege had it's place, bathroom-wise.
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Smogboy
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Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 7088
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 4:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Who in their right mind is coherent enough to scramble for dimes when their bladder's driving 'em crazy? WHY stores even contemplated the idea of a pay toilet is beyond me.
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Thoswolfe
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Username: Thoswolfe

Post Number: 18
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 4:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

At 7 Grand Federal's the main security guy was the store Santa at Christmas, and still watching us older kids, we considered shoplifting in front of him just to be chased by Santa. But feared he'd call our parents or worse yet, send the big babushka lady after us.
Federal's also had a store in downtown Farmington, one of the last to close.
Class act, that West. He opened a bank account in Bahamas for payroll, playing with check-kiting so paychecks weren't cashable for a week or so.
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Thoswolfe
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Username: Thoswolfe

Post Number: 19
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 4:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Last time I was up there, 10 years ago,there were still some (non-working) pay toilet boxes in the 7-Grand Federals. Beat up bad, but still there.
The upstairs of that building has not been retail for many years. Access is through the side street in back. The building/'Redford Oaks' owner rented 'rooms' for musician studios, wonder if they still do that?
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 1974
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 4:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Federal store, Jos Campau, Hamtramack.




wsu/vmc
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Newport1128
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Username: Newport1128

Post Number: 173
Registered: 05-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 4:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I believe there was also a Federal's at the Warren-Conner shopping Center, as well as a Kresge or Neisner dime store.
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Stinger4me
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Username: Stinger4me

Post Number: 181
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 4:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hornwrecker: do you know what year the image was taken? I am trying to think of the name of the shoe store which was adjacent to the Federal's store. It was on the corner of Evaline and Jos. Campau.
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 1975
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 5:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Another photo taken at Evaline shows the shoe store: Baker's Shoes. As to the date, figure it to be the early 50s by the cars.
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Douglasm
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Username: Douglasm

Post Number: 1017
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 5:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oldredfordette.....
....there actually was a time when "retail salesman" was a respected profession. In the late 70's, a manager I worked for called me the last of a dying breed, a professional shoe dog. I was 30 at the time and managed to hold on to the career for another 15 years. Nowadays, I don't think these kids would know what a Ritz stick was if it smacked them up the side of the head.....
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Stinger4me
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Username: Stinger4me

Post Number: 182
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 5:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hornwrecker; That is about the time I wandered off and misplaced my parents on a Friday night. I must have been about 5 years old. Followed the crowds crossing the street and knew where my aunt lived. I wish I could have had a picture of their faces when I walked into the kitchen. Back then that was one busy street on a Friday or Saturday evening. Many times there were officers on the corners directing the heavy traffic. Thanks for posting the images, brings back a lot of memories.
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 3587
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 5:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Federal's stores in 1961:

HQ - 1200 McNichols E, Highland Park

East Side -
Gratiot at 7 Mile E
Maddelein at Hoyt
Jos Campau at Yemans
Harper at Baldwin

West Side -
Grand River at Greenfield
Grand River at Oakman Blvd
7-Grand Center, Redford
Schaefer at McNichols W
Michigan at Schaefer, Dearborn
Michigan at 33rd
Vernor Hwy W at Central

Suburban -
Southgate Center, Southgate
Eastgate Center, Roseville
Wonderland Center, Livonia
Shores Center, St Clair Shores
8 Mile E at Dequinder, Hazel Park
Woodward at 9 Mile, Ferndale
Biddle at Maple, Wyandotte
Saginaw N at Warren, Pontiac
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Jiminnm
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Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 1594
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 6:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Stinger, that's a 1949-1951 Ford smoking in the middle of the shot (can't see it well enough to differentiate). The other cars look to be late 1940s, maybe 1950, vintage.
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Paczki
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Username: Paczki

Post Number: 49
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 7:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Our family went to St. Lad's. In (I think) 1974 my brother was the Santa Claus at Federals on Campau. I bet that really fooled the kids; a 16 year old santa! Most of the kids from St. Lads worked at Federals, Bakers, Cosmetic Chest or one of the Dime Stores. For the life of me I can't remember the name of the dime store.
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Stinger4me
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Username: Stinger4me

Post Number: 183
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 7:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Paczki; Take your choice, there was a W. T. Grant, Neisner's, and down near Caniff there was a Lendzion's. The Lendzion's would be very close to St. Lad's. Were there any Paciorek's during your days at the high school?
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D2dyeah
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Username: D2dyeah

Post Number: 94
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 7:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Federal's in Dearborn and the store at Michigan and Junction are the store's I'm familiar with, and both stores were bland. Seeing photos, on other threads, with neighborhood retail shopping areas, the photos of some of the Federal's stores on the eastside and other locations, had fantastic Streamline Modern/Art Deco facades. The neighboring Cunningham's/Kinsel's stores, which were near, had some of the same design. Does anyone know who designed these terrific looking buildings?
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 1978
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 7:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Federal store, Grand River near Oakman




wsu/vmc
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Downtowntom
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Username: Downtowntom

Post Number: 16
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 8:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My parents left Detroit and moved to Roseville in 1957. This shopping center was at the end of their street. It was so new and so modern and all the stores were "Air Conditioned"...WOW.


Federals dept. store, Eastgate shopping center, Roseville
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 1543
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 9:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was familiar with three federals growing up:

Grand River/Greenfield
Plymouth/Evergreen (became Sears Surplus)
Michigan/Schaefer
Wonderland Mall

Later I found a list of stores in an ad while researching some microfiche in a library. There was one in Downtown Farmington as well at one time. That was a snapshot in time.

It would be interesting to see a list of all the stores, dates they opened/closed and if there was ever one that was considered a flagship.
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 1979
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 9:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Grand River and 7 Mile





Eastgate, Gratiot and Frazho Rd




wsu/vmc