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Almy's, Bigelow and Washburn was a popular department store in downtown Salem, operating on Essex Street in Salem from 1862 to 1985.

  • In an interview with Helen Butler, who was married in 1914 to a grandson of Almy's founder she recalled how Almy's started. "James Fergus Almy was a Quaker who came to Salem from North Adams and started a little store. Meanwhile, from Stowe, Vermont came Lurana Bigelow to Salem and she opened a millinery store. He fell in love with her and when he wanted money for the store, she had capital to give him. The union of Almy and Bigelow was forged when they married." The store was owned by the founding family until they sold it in 1951 to the Gorin family.
  • Almy's, which began with four employees in 1858, opened originally at 156 Essex St., then two years later moved the store to 188 Essex St. At the time of its closing in 1985, the store had approximately 75 employees. The Salem store was one of five Almy's outlets that were closed following the sale of the Almy's chain to the Stop and Shop Corporation.
  • Some of the other local Almy's stores were in downtown Beverly, Northshore Shopping Center and the Danvers Plaza.
  • The official date of closure was March 16, 1985.
  • Almy's iconic clock still sits in front of where the store used to be.

Almy.JPG Bigelow.JPG Washburn.JPG

See Also

  • Vertical File in Salem Collection - Almy's
  • "Salem Almy's to be closed March 1", Salem Evening News, Jan. 9, 1985, p. 1
  • "Grand lady recalls Almy's", Salem Evening News, Feb. 2, 1985, p.1