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Groceries, groceries, everywhere


As regular readers of this blog know I volunteer at the museum to scan the 25,000+/- historic photos. (I’m now a bit over 10,000 photos scanned.) Through the day I stop to eat lunch and when I am the only one in the basement I sit at the larger table and read the Manistee News Advocate. Well, okay, it is not the same edition of the paper that you are likely to read.


Today, for example I was reading a 1922 edition for March 24. There is always a stack of Advocates sitting on the table – sitting out so the columns for 100 years ago can be written by Teena Kracht. In the particular newspaper I was perusing, there was a page titled “Market Basket Page”. The page was full of ads for grocery stores. Not like today where economy of scale and size of the county supports two supermarkets. In 1922, when many walked or used street cars, to go shopping, the neighborhood grocer was much more the thing. In this page there were 15 ads for 15 different grocery stores – all within the City of Manistee.

· F. J. Johnson Grocer, 257 Fifth Avenue, telephone 494.

· O. F. Anderson Meat Market, 253 Fifth Avenue.

· The Buttercup Kandy Kitchen, 131 Washington Street.

· Richwalski’s Grocery, Corner of Sibben and Fifth Streets, phone 681.

· Badman’s Two Stores, Division Street (phone 213) and also at Kosciusko Street (phone 463).

· Joseph Stepan Meats, 129 Washington Street.

· J. A. Timmer Meats, 135 Washington Street.

· Sorkness Grocery, 267 River Street, phone 501.

· James Hansen Grocer, First Street.

· Alfred Hansen, dairy, 449 River Street, phone 247.

· Nels Thompson Little Green Store, Sibben Street.

· Malek’s Bakery, corner of Sibben and Fourth Streets.

· Gibson Coffee Ranch, 323 First Street.



· Hornkohl’s Bakery, Litd. (Apparently everyone knows where this was located because the ad did not bother to say it was at First and Grant Streets. They delivered also.)

The National Grocer Company also had an ad on this page listing the local grocers that carried Holland Special Coffee. In addition to those listed above, this ad also included:

· A. G. Heuck.

· R. F. Butwell

· John Hensel

· C. M. Hansen

· Harry Andresen

· J. Bernhardt

· J. Franckowiak

· C. Wilkowski

· C. Wilhowski

· H. Sorkness

· William Zamrowski

· J. Borucki

· Charles Rosenow

· R. E. McCurdy (store located in Chief, Michigan)


Do you know where all of these were located, as they may or may not be in the City of Manistee?


Today, the economy of selling food has changed. Not only with the number of stores, but also prices listed in some of the ads: 29 cents for three cans to tomato soup, six pounds of navy beans for 33 cents, and six roles of toilet paper for 25 cents. But then, adjusted for inflation from 1922 to 2021: $4.65 soup, $5.29 beans, $4.01 for the toilet paper.

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