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.


Service Auto Parts Once Kept Chattanooga's Cars Running

When I think about working on cars, I think of the times that I helped my father (or vice versa, after I started driving).  Engines were simpler then, with enough space under the hood for a mother cat and kittens to ride as stowaways one day to my father's work.  "Where is that meowing coming from?" he thought.  Fortunately, the felines were fine, though their nine ... (click for more)

Reader Seeks Information on African-American Race Track from 1940's

A reader is searching for information on a segregated car racing track in Alton Park in the 1940's.  He came across an article in my previous series on River City racing (http://www.chattanoogan.com/2010/4/18/173711/River-City-Racing---Warner-Park-and.aspx).   The following is the reader's e-mail: "I saw the story linked below in which you wrote about, among ... (click for more)

EPB Says It Did Not Overbill The City; Says City Got $685,877 Break

EPB officials said Tuesday that an exhaustive audit of its street light contract with the city showed that it did not overbill the city. Instead, it said it found that the city was underbilled $685,877. EPB said it only goes back one year on errors so the amount owed by the city would be $178,314. Officials said that would be discussed with the city. Stan Sewell, the city's ... (click for more)

Citizens To Comment Next Tuesday On Sound Control Ordinance That Allows Higher Sound Around Downtown Clubs

Citizens will be allowed to comment next Tuesday on a new Sound Control Ordinance that allows higher sound from nightclubs in a downtown Controlled Sound Boundary. Track 29 behind the Chattanooga Choo Choo, that has drawn the wrath of some nearby Southside residents, is within the boundary, which goes from Fourth Street to Main Street. The hearing before the City Council ... (click for more)

The Truth- From Weston’s Sister

I try not to read the negative articles and opinions about my older brother. Growing up around politics, I learned a long time ago that thick skin is not only necessary, it’s paramount. But this time, the lies and the rumors and the inaccurate information has gone too far. It’s too ridiculous for me to ignore. So let’s clear a few things up: Weston and I do not “come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oscar Brock’s True Passion

I don’t pay much attention to the Hamilton County School Board. Once the moon and the stars aligned behind Superintendent Rick Smith, you hear very little, if anything, from the nine-member council that oversees an annual budget of almost $400 million and employs 4,480 people. So chew this for a minute: approximately 2,000 of those people are not teachers. Yes, there are 78 principals ... (click for more)