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.



Chattanooga History Books By John Wilson Available At Zarzour's Restaurant, By Mail

John Wilson, former Hamilton County Historian and publisher of Chattanoogan.com, has written two volumes on the early families of Hamilton County and also books on Chattanooga and on Lookout Mountain, as well as editing books on Chattanooga's railroads and the Stokes and Hiener photo collections. Railroads In And Around Chattanooga , featuring Chattanooga's intriguing railroad ... (click for more)

Chester Martin Remembers Favorite Chattanooga Places

One very cold Saturday in early February of 2016 seven of us sat at a table in a downtown restaurant near the Tennessee Aquarium telling our reminiscences of Chattanooga. The Grand Matron of our group was an impeccably dressed, coiffed, and sharp-witted young lady of 94. Seems that that good lady had been the teen-aged baby-sitter for the two men in her party, who had been children ... (click for more)

Stanley Postell, 23, And Teenager Injured In 2 Separate Shootings Tuesday Evening

Stanley Postell, 23, and a teenager were injured in two separate shootings Tuesday evening.   Chattanooga Police officers responded at 8:13 p.m. to a person shot at the  2300 block of Daisy Street .   Officers responded to a local hospital on a report of a shooting victim arriving at the emergency room. Officers were informed that Postell was in critical ... (click for more)

City Adds Amendment To ATV Noise Ordinance

The City Council on Tuesday approved the ATV noise ordinance, but added a new section. Since the ordinance was altered, the passage on Tuesday was still considered just the first reading. The second and final reading will be next Tuesday. Councilman Ken Smith had proposed the amendment. He said his son has an ATV, and he said they conducted a test. He said the son's ATV ... (click for more)

Employee Should Not Have Been Fired For Going To Charlottesville Rally - And Response (4)

Re: Employee fired by Mojo Burrito for attending Charlottesville rally: It bothers me that the employee at the restaurant was fired for doing something on his own time. Had he shown acts that bothered the owners before this? I am so against everything that happened at the rally, but also where does all this stop? If I go to a movie that my employer doesn't like will I ... (click for more)

A Tale Of 3 Properties

Here in Lookout Valley on the far southwest edge of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, trees and rocks are plentiful but sidewalks are as rare as unicorns. It’s a land the governments forget – until tax collection time.  The recent county reappraisal spoke about ‘comps,’ recent sale prices of comparable local properties. But the assessors defined ‘comparable’ to suit themselves, ... (click for more)