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Hillsboro department stores: Do you remember these?

Lead Summary
Steve Roush-
“Dancin’ close, little moron jokes, and cooties in her hair
Captain Midnight, Ovaltine, and The Whip at the County Fair
Charles Atlas Course, Roy Rogers’ Horse, and only The Shadow knows
Ah, do you remember those?”

– The Statler Brothers

Ladies and gentlemen, now that we’re back in the 1960s, we should probably get some ’60s clothes.

I mean, this 2007 Festival of the Bells T-shirt I’m wearing may be 13 years old, but it might make the folks around town do a double take. It might be best if we blend in as best we can. We’ll worry about getting a ’60s haircut later.

There are plenty of places to choose from to buy some cool new duds. We’ve got the Famous Store, Kaufman Bargain Store, G.C. Murphy Company, United Department Store, Tot and Teen, Ellison Brothers, L.B. Hilliard, Paul’s Exchange Store, Fettro’s, Litt Brothers, Miller’s, Hillsboro Dry Goods and Betty’s Hat Shop, among others.

Let’s look at the newspaper to see what might be on sale. At Kaufman’s, “everybody’s favorite clothing and shoe store,” sport shirts can be had “at a mere shadow of their regular prices,” and there are “solid colors and patterns galore to suit every taste.”

Excellent, we’ll get a few.

At United, they’re selling wash and wear seersucker and cromspun pants for $2.99, we don’t have to pay up to $5.98, they say. Tropical pants are $3.99, and we can get “delightful” summer house dresses for a buck 99.

Litt Brothers has a “large selection of dusters and muumuus at low prices.” I remember Litt’s. I’ll pass on the muumuus, but there are lots of offerings for women, children and boys.

Wait a minute, there’s a grand opening for a Lords ladies apparel store at 106 N. High St. on Sept. 21, 1961, so maybe we can check that out when the business opens its doors.

Perhaps as we cruise around town, we can check out some more clothing stores down the road, but the marquee at the Colony just caught my attention – “Blue Hawaii” starring Elvis Presley.

The ad in the newspaper says, “See Elvis sing and dance the Rock-A-Hula Twist!” and that the film is “the big fun-time, song-time, best-time show of your life!” (Here’s a fun fact: Angela Lansbury of “Murder, She Wrote” fame played the mother of Presley’s character in “Blue Hawaii.” Presley was 26 at the time, and Lansbury was 35. By the way, Lansbury will turn 95 next month.)

Yeah, I’ve seen “Blue Hawaii” a few times, but I’ve never seen it in the Colony, and since there is no Colony in 2020, let’s buy a ticket and some popcorn, and we’ll pause for now and continue next time.

Steve Roush is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees, a vice president of an international media company and a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. He can be reached by email at

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