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.



Burma Shave Signs

Years ago my uncle Alf (A.T.) Connelly, a WWII vet, upon returning to civilian life, worked as a sign painter for the then Atomic Energy Commission in Oak Ridge, Tn. He painted miniature sets of Burma Shave signs. Attached is a photo of one of those sets. The signs read as follows: “They missed the turn, Car was whizzin’, The fault her’n, The funeral his’n, Burma Shave”.  ... (click for more)

Brooks Family Was Among Earliest Settlers Of Sale Creek

Joseph Brooks was one of the earliest settlers at Sale Creek when it was part of Rhea County. Three of his nieces along with their husbands were Hamilton County pioneers. Joseph Brooks and his brother, Moses Brooks, were sons of John Brooks, who was born in Ireland about 1730. He made his way to Philadelphia and lived a short time in Pennsylvania before going with the tide of ... (click for more)

McCallie Coach From 90s Who Is Now Deceased Is Accused Of Abusing Students

A McCallie School coach from the 1990s who is now deceased is being accused of abusing students at the private prep school. Two former students said Steven Lee "Steve" Carpenter sexually abused them. Carpenter was the basketball coach at McCallie for 11 seasons - through 1999. He was boys basketball coach at Ridgeland High School beginning in 2000. Carpenter was ... (click for more)

Famed Radio Broadcaster Tommy Jett Dies At 77 At His Flintstone Home

Legendary radio broadcaster Tommy Jett (Thomas Wayne Reynolds) died Wednesday in his sleep at his residence in Flintstone, Ga.   He was 77. The native of Smithville, Tn., first was heard on Chattanooga radio in 1961 when he joined WFLI. He was known for his gaudy rings and his "Hey Now" greeting. He switched to country on WDOD in the 1980s and later was on "The Legend" ... (click for more)

Pluses And Minuses Of Tennessee's New Opioid Law

It was clear when Governor Haslam announced his TN Together plan in January that lawmakers were going to do something to try to address the state’s opioid abuse epidemic. With the passage of SB 2257/HB 1831, Tennessee now has one of the most comprehensive and restrictive laws of any state.   The Tennessee Medical Association was actively engaged in the process and appreciates ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A True Tennessean

“Last week I told some Republican friends who have held high office, traditional and true Republicans, who like you are both conservative and compassionate, Christians in their personal faith and public service,” the email began. “These are Tennessee Republicans that I have known for decades, and whom I'd trust with my life and my wife … I told them that my views and values make ... (click for more)