ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin



316-320 E Main



Woolworth’s, 1950s, “5 cents to 1 dollar”


F. W. Woolworth Co was the original chain of five and dime stores.




-- --           F.W. WOOLWORTH BUILDING BUILT by Maas Bros. of Watertown

     Replaced former Miller Cigar Manufactory (312-314 E Main) and Miller house (316)





Carol Loeder, Nancy Doubleday Griep, Gladys Koehler, Esther Block, Lenore Kegler, Merla Stark Frannk, Dorothy Munzel, LaVern Jine, Lorraine Guenterberg, Betty Scharp Hall, Margaret Schlueter, Clara Roth, Alta Hardtke, Ruth Flath, Patricia Behling Peterson, Viola Wahl, Rosemary Korban, Verona Martin, Betty Schwenkner Kofler, Audrey Fuchs Zautner, Helen Prentiss, Laverne Thelke Neis, Pauline Scharp Reith, Hidegard Scharp Raabe Kajewski, Carol Buss Bergdoll, Rita Maron, Iris Grulke, Beverly Stafeil Ruehlow




The F.W. Woolworth Co. store in Watertown, located at 312 Main Street, announced plans for its grand opening following an extensive remodeling and major improvement program which has been underway for several months. The grand opening will run for four days, according to Gordon J. Conard, the manager. The store features all new counters, a new tile floor, new fluorescent lighting, air conditioning and a new 25-stool luncheonette.




The Woolworth Building, 320 Main Street, has been sold and will be occupied by Royce Fabrics following a complete remodeling.


Royce Fabrics, owned and operated by Royce Rowedder, will move from its present location in several months when the remodeling project is completed.


When completed the new store will be one of the largest fabric facilities in southern Wisconsin and will feature expanded areas for fabrics, art needle work, yarns and sewing machines.


Royce Fabrics stores are also located in West Bend, Fort Atkinson and Hartland.  The Watertown store was opened in February of 1969 and was the original store.



          Royce Fabrics, 1975



Cross references:

LaVerne J. Jine (Bergdoll) [1928-2009] worked at F. W. Woolworth's as the manager of the lunch counter


Lunch counters.  Ruth Sellnow, longtime Watertown resident, has written a remembrance of growing up in Watertown:  Lunch counters, were once great places, to eat in downtown Watertown.  The counter at Woolworths had club sandwiches., BLTs and a multi-layered devil’s food cake with a white sea-foam frosting, that were all favorites.  The Kresege store counter survived even longer with the usual staples of lunch counter fare and coffee.  It brought people together for food and conversation.



Julie-Fred Guenterberg

I have the "L" from the woolworths sign in my garage. Manager gave it to my mom who's name was Lorraine, when the store closed.


Sherry Baumann-Filenius

My aunt was Merla from behind the lunch counter.


Antonette Toni Kottwitz Huggett

I worked there as a teen. Made lots of BLT's and malts.


Mona Achtor

Remember there was a back exit up a few stairs on right side. Going to catechism class at St. Lukes on Sat morning we used to go there for a mid morning break!


Terry Boyce

I loved Woolworth's. Remember buying strands of angora to put on class rings? I always loved the cherry cokes. Also bought all of my 45's from the stand by the checkouts!


Andi Wyrwa

Yes, cherry coke... sitting at the lunch counter. 😊


Bonnie Bohlman

Yup 👍 cherry coke was the best!!!


Cyndy Guetzlaff Eaton

Don’t forget about the plate of French fries to go along with the cherry cokes! 🍟🍟🍟


Laurie Lund Purtell

I bought records there also!


Merrilee Kaulitz

I used to work at that lunch bar...1st job. Every other Fri.night, and Sat. Perfect h.s. job. Merla ran a tight ship.


Sherry Baumann-Filenius

Merla is my aunt. She's still a great cook at 91 years old ❤️


Laurie Lund Purtell

We used to walk there from high school and share an order of their great French fries.


Richard Neumann

Parakeets, small turtles and a great lunch bar… fries, 26 cents.


MerriJo Wurst Lineberry

I remember the wooden floors


Bonnie Bohlman

Really liked the candy assortment at Woolworths


Terry Boyce

Bonnie Bohlman They used to carry a candy bar that was 7 Brazil nuts covered in chocolate. I loved them and have never found them again.


Julie-Fred Guenterberg

I remember Merla's" strawberry pie was something customers came into the store specifically to get every June when the berries were in season.


Janice Wendorf

I remember stoping after school for a cherry cola and onion rings


Andi Wyrwa

The "dime store" 😁





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History of Watertown, Wisconsin