What Did That Building Used To Be? - Babyland

Wednesday, December 04, 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.


New TSLA Exhibit Explores the Civil War in Tennessee in 1864

1864 would prove to be the decisive year of the Civil War. Despite Union victories at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga the previous year, northern citizens were growing war-weary. The mounting lists of dead and wounded made many wonder if the South should finally be allowed its independence. Geographically situated between the midwestern states and the deep South, ... (click for more)

Tennessee and the War of 1812 Program is September 29

The Chattanooga Area Historical Association and the Local History and Genealogy Department of the Public Library invite you to attend "Tennessee and the War of 1812."  The event is free and open to the public, and will be held on Monday, September 29 at 6:00 pm at the downtown library. The speaker will be Linda Mines, Chairperson of the History and Social Sciences Departments ... (click for more)

EPB Says Bottom Line Is It Owes City $17,049 For Street Light Billing; DePriest Says Figure Is Starting Point For Talks With City: EPB To Ask Dismissal Of "Frivolous" Lepard Lawsuit

EPB officials on Tuesday morning released a report by Mauldin & Jenkins, the independent accounting firm charged with analyzing the process errors that led to questions about billing for public street lights, that gives a bottom line figure that EPB owes the city of Chattanooga $17,049. Harold DePriest, EPB president, said that is a starting point for ongoing talks with the ... (click for more)

DA Sets Up Process To Review 120 Cold Cases Murders Dating Back 40 Years

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a morning press conference on Tuesday that he is setting up a process to review 120 cold case murders in Hamilton County dating back some 40 years. He said former city major crimes detective Mike Mathis will be working out of his office on the cases. He is familiar with most or all of the cases, it was stated. DA Pinkston said Sgt. Bill ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: He Can Never Go Home

When Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston sparked top-ranked Florida State to a 56-41 comeback over N.C. State last Saturday, you would have thought the world had forgotten and virtually excused his vulgar rant from the week before. His inexcusable mid-week antics kept him sidelined during the Clemson game and brought down the nation’s scorn but less than a week later he was ... (click for more)