Remembering Atwood’s

The passing of Jack Atwood has revived memories of Atwood’s Department Store, which from the 1930s to the 1980s sold general merchandise in downtown Upland, at the northwest corner of Second Avenue and Ninth Street.

The building later burned in a fire and was demolished. The lot sat empty for a decade until a very nice two-story retail and commercial structure plugged the gap a couple of years ago.

At this point, that’s about all I know, although I’m hoping to write something in my column soon about the store. What can any of you tell us about Atwood’s — the store and the family?

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  • Scott Peterson

    I remember Atwoods had a Boy Scout uniform clothing department. Mom would take us there to get new uniforms as we outgrew our old ones.

  • Matt Swift

    I remember going there as a kid in the ’70s; got my Scout’s uniform there. The store had an odd layout with an upper level and lower level. I think the boys, and maybe men too, were in the lower level, which faced 9th St.

  • Derek Christensen

    Same here… Bought Boy Scout Uniforms and (overpriced) Official Boy Scout camping gear at Atwoods.

    It was a small, downtown department store. There was a cosmetics counter located in the middle of the first floor.

    There may have been an entrance on 9th street, but I always entered in the front, from 2nd avenue.

    The Upland Inn restaurant was nearby to the west on 9th.

  • Monty Seay

    The 9th st entrance was the baby and kids area and the upper 2nd Ave was the womens in front and boy scouts in the rear, mens facing 2nd ave. Jack Atwood and my Dad Howard “Doc” Seay were very good friends. My Dad was Captain Seay and Jack lived at the corner of Euclid Ave and Arrow Hwy for as long as I can remember.

  • Bob House

    Seems like back in the day, every town had its own Department Store. It was Brickman’s in Claremont (briefly, Arthur’s, before disappearing altogether) in the building on the south side of Bentley’s Market (now Rhino) and Van Dusen’s in La Verne.

    Off topic comment on Sunday’s column on comics: I’ve wanted the “Little Nemo in Slumberland” book for years — looks pretty psychedelic for its day. I also have fond memories of laying on the floor of our living room as a child on Sunday mornings with the comics (“funnies”) spread out in front of me while a man on the radio read them to me. Unlike today, almost every comic strip in those days was more or less kid-friendly.

    [Off topic answer: "Nemo" IS pretty wild. And now, back to Atwood's. -- DA]

  • Linda Frost

    Atwoods was a trip back in time. My mother purchased Boy and Girl Scout uniforms and accessories for the three of us there. I still have my Brownie and Girl Scout pins and my Girl Scout Handbook. When my kids were growing up, I shopped there for them, too. The loss of the store saddened me, as did the loss of the Upland Inn. I competed in the Lions Club Speech Contest at the Inn.

    Does anyone remember the drugstore on the corner of Ninth and Second that had a soda fountain? Central Market on the northeast corner of Second and Ninth? Olsons Meats when it was part of Safeway Market on Ninth? FYI, “Century of Community,” the story of Uplands first 100 years, by Don Clucas, is available at Costco.

    I know I wax nostalgic at times such as these, but memories are fun; they remind us how and where we became who we are.

    [Not to mention why. Thanks, Linda. -- DA]

  • Warren

    I also remember Atwood’s as the place to get scouting uniforms — camping gear I got at Miller’s Outpost when it was Euclid Ave in Ontario. It was also the place to get letterman jackets and sweaters for Upland High School.

    The one thing I remember about Atwood’s is that it was one of the few places my mother could find permanent-press pants when they first came out. The only problem was that after a few washings, the fabric would weaken and split in the seat. Oh well, I guess my mother didn’t want to see me in jeans.

  • Nick Geier

    fuck it, your site claims I did the captcha text wrong and my comments are gone. I am not going to type all that stuff about atwoods over again

    [I wish your original comment had gone through instead of this one. Sorry, Nick. -- DA]

  • Judy Hinton Spence

    My grandmother worked at Atwood’s in the “notions” dept. I can remember the cashier was upstairs, and they had this system of putting money in these cylinders that were suspended from the ceiling on wires & would send them upstairs to the cashier to make change, and then would shoot them down the wire again to the salesperson.

    My grandmother made most of my sister’s & my clothes until we got to Jr High. As a result we participated in several fashion shows at Atwoods. I remember buying my girl scout uniforms as well as gym clothes there. Jack Atwood & my mother went to high school together & remained good friends throughout my childhood.