The recent revival of downtown Raleigh and efforts to welcome out-of-town visitors would feel familiar to downtown merchants a century ago. When the N.C. State Fair came to town in 1914, civic pride was on display as visitors were heartily welcomed to the Capital City.
Raleigh merchants will make their stores unusually attractive during Fair Week and every courtesy will be extended to the vast crowds which are sure to be there.
The stores will be in the most gorgeous gala day attire and their stocks cannot be equalled by any city in the State. Thousands of visitors to the Fair utilize this occasion to do their shopping here. Raleigh is not only the educational center of the State but the fashion centre as well.
In response to inquiries by The News and Observer, it was ascertained that there will be unusual co-operation by the merchants in making the coming Fair the greatest event of the kind ever held in the State.
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Besides the special care for buyers and their friends, some of the merchants will give away souvenirs, others will pay parcel post charges on purchases and other interesting features have been arranged.
Many merchants will have interesting exhibits in their stocks which will be worth seeing and every merchant extends a cordial invitation for you to visit his place of business and some member of the house will take pleasure in showing you over the establishment whether you wish to buy or not.
The latch string of Raleigh will hang on the outside of the door and no one in the city will extend to the visitor more courtesy than the merchants.
H. B. G. Gibbons Co., home of the Edison Phonograph, will give special Edison concerts for State Fair visitors, daily. They invite all visitors to hear the new Edison Phonograph.
Boylan-Pearce Co. have arranged a rest room on the second floor of their store, where lady visitors to the Fair may meet their friends. The rest room will be fitted with desk and writing material and everything will be done to add to the comfort of out of town visitors.
Darnell & Thomas will exhibit in their store windows one of the most unique displays ever seen in Raleigh. It will consist of a miniature stage reproduction of New Amsterdam theatre in New York. It will show scenes from six different operas. Curtain rises before and falls after each scene. They will also give daily Victrola and Pianola concerts.
C. R. Boone, the clothier, will pay parcel post charges on all purchases from his store by visitors during Fair Week. This will eliminate the trouble of carrying bothersome bundles.
The Vogue, a shop for men and boys, will give a handsome souvenir with each purchase during Fair Week.
King’s Business College extends a cordial welcome to all visitors to visit their school and see how they are doing things. Two young men will be assigned to show visitors over the building.
The National Cash Register Co. will have on display the new ticket registers which are recent products of their factory. They invite visitors to see this wonderful machine.
The Hen Cackle Poultry Supply Co. is offering a handsome silver loving cup for the best bird in the poultry show and will give away several bags of their product as prizes.
The Spingler Optical Co. will give a beautiful souvenir to all out of town visitors who visit their optical parlors.
Misses Reese & Co. Millinery will display a special line of American made hats that will demonstrate the uselessness of copying European models.
The Raleigh Floral Co. extends an invitation to visitors to go through their green houses and see the many beautiful flowers that are grown there. They will have an exhibit at the fair grounds.
The Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Co., through its special agent, Mr. John C. Drewry, announce that they expect many of their friends here during fair week. Their office will be closed Thursday in order that employees may see the fair.
S. Berwanger, the clothier, has arranged to add to the comfort of out of town visitors by having a counter for checking packages.
J. L. O’Quinn, the florist, will present a souvenir with every purchase of flowers from his down town store. He also invites fair visitors to visit this green houses at the corner of Polk and Swain streets.
Hunter-Rand Co., will make their store one of interest to visitors during the week of the fair. They will have a counter where packages may be checked and a rest room for ladies. Their store will close Thursday at noon for a half holiday.
Crocker’s Shoe Store will pay parcel post charges on all purchases from that store during fair week. The N&O, Oct. 11, 1914
Read more stories from local and state history and send us your own stories on the blog Past Times, newsobserver.com/pasttimes.