What Did That Building Used To Be? - Babyland

Wednesday, December 4, 2002 - by Harmon Jolley
Babyland was at 1704 McCallie Ave. Click to enlarge.
Babyland was at 1704 McCallie Ave. Click to enlarge.

Recently, I came across a photo of a business that I recall visiting once as a child during the holiday shopping season. It was the Babyland/Enchantment Shop, located at 1704 McCallie Avenue.

They featured children’s clothing and toys, some of which are visible in the picture, as well as a diaper service. The years that it was in business – from 1947 to 1961 – parallel the “Baby Boom,” which created demand for all products and services relating to the younger generation.

Babyland and Diaper Supply Service opened their new building on March 24, 1947. In an advertisement, they offered $100 cash or $125 in diaper service to the winner of a naming contest for the diaper side of the business. Apparently, the name, “Di-Dee Diaper Service,” was the winning entry, as this appears in city directories.

Babyland featured infants’ and children’s clothing. Opening day specials included day gowns for $1.95 and spring dresses for $2.95.

The Enchantment Shop was at the same address. I recall that the store had a small stage and seating area, which allowed the owner to host promotional events to sell the latest fashions and playthings. I believe that they fastened each item to a clothesline reel, and moved them into view while a narrator introduced the products. I don’t believe that we bought anything; possibly our one visit was before the really cool toys of the 1960’s – Mattel’s Thingmaker and Vacu-Form, for instance – came out.

Babyland was featured in the pictorial history book, Chattanooga Yesterday and Today, Volume One, by Paul Hiener. Today, a florist is located in the same building.

If you recall any other facts about the Babyland/Enchantment Shop, please send me an e-mail at jolleyh@signaldata.net.

Chester Martin Remembers St. Elmo

I am (highly) qualified to make the brash pronouncement that St. Elmo (Chattanooga's first suburb) is as much a state of mind as it is an actual place. It is a place that gets into your mind and into your blood, and sometimes under your skin - indelibly. I have witnessed the same phenomenon in distant cities, but I do not think it is so strong an emotion there as it is here ... (click for more)

Another Trip to the What-not Drawer: We Have the Answer

Update: The item has been determined to be a vintage set of pipe thread dies made by the Toledo Pipe Threading Machine Company.  The ridges on the dies cut threads into metal pipe for joining with a fitting. In my previous Memories article ( http://www.chattanoogan.com/2016/10/9/333673/Remembering-Scenic-Slide-Viewers.aspx ), I shared how I dared to open a what-not ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke, Lacie Stone Were At Swanky New York City Hotel While Bobby Stone Was Plying The River

Mayor Andy Berke's top advisor Lacie Stone accompanied him on a trip to New York City on April 12-13 and they ended up at a swanky spot where Ms. Stone's husband, Bobby, had taken her before. They sat at the Stones' favorite table.   Bobby Stone, who has accused his wife of having an affair with the mayor, has said that Lacie Stone told him that she and the mayor kissed ... (click for more)

Fire Displaces Family Of 7; Blaze Ruled Accidental

No injuries were reported in connection with a house fire on Saturday afternoon that displaced a family of seven. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 4:11 p.m. and responded to 3308 Dodson Ave. with five fire companies. Captain Wadie Suttles with Engine 4 said heavy fire was showing when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. As additional firefighters ... (click for more)

Please, No Short Term Vacation Rentals In My Neighborhood

Approval of the short term vacation rental item on the City Council agenda for Tuesday  will be the next step toward commercializing our residential properties and communities to benefit those more interested in making money than preserving an old, well-established, rich community of like-minded families.    Anything requiring a business license is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kelly Could Win It

I am neither a sleuth nor an odds maker but I’d say there is about a one-in-three chance that Interim Hamilton County Department of Education Superintendent Kirk Kelly could become the permanent superintendent of our public schools next Thursday. I am assured something squirrelly is happening on our newly-seated school board. It has been seven months since the last superintendent ... (click for more)