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ROSE'S 5 and 10 CENT STORE

by Charly Mann

There was no greater adventure for a child in 1950s Chapel Hill than to go to ROSE'S 5 and 10 CENT STORE. It was a magical store with everything you could imagine under one roof. The floors were wood plank and it had a unique and inviting smell that combined the scent of popcorn from its large candy counter with the odor of new merchandise.

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Comments:

Ron Smith      12:57 PM Sat 5/14/2011

Will never forget the wooden floors and the smell of the popcorn machine. Great memory.
 

Sandra Boyd      6:38 PM Sun 5/23/2010

Are you ever going to publish a book with many of the articles you have published in Chapel Hill Memories. I would love to get a copy for myself and several other members of my family.
 

Sue Whitaker      5:48 AM Sun 5/23/2010

Ah yes, Roses Five & Ten was such an integral part of the downtown experience. My mother worked downtown & while waiting for her to get off work I spent many an hour passing time at the 5 & 10. The Easter chicks never fared too well when brought home.
 

Alice Porter      3:31 PM Fri 5/21/2010

When I was a student at UNC in ancient times I often bought candy and nuts at Rose's on my way to class. Their food sustained me for many long days in the early 1950s.
 

Linda Clark      10:31 PM Thu 5/20/2010

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I loved Roses, but my favorite store was the nearby Intimate Bookstore. Please do a piece about them soon.
 

Bob Jurgensen      11:28 AM Thu 5/20/2010

You are so right about the popcorn at the Carolina vs the Varsity. The Carolina made their own popcorn, deep in the basement under the stage (circular staircase that went WAY down into the dark cellar) - every morning you could smell it being popped, wafing up through the theatre and onto the street while those big side doors stood open for cleaning each morning.

The Varsity got their popcorn from Charlotte, came in in large plastic bags and it always tasted a little rubbery, because I think they bagged it warm - unlike the Carolina, which put theirs in 5 gal cans and put the lids on only after it cooled (and then proceeded to sell it pretty much all the same or next day!) I recall once, when working there, during Lawrence of Arabia, popcorn sales dropped like a rock but drink sales went through the roof - everyone working there could not understand why, but after watching the movie, well, it became quite evident why everyone was so thirsty!

The Carolina was a class act - the Varsity was just a third rate theatre with poor management BUT they did get all the Buena Vista (Disney) and United Artists movies (James Bond, etc.) so sometimes you just had to go there.
 

Bob Jurgensen      11:14 AM Thu 5/20/2010

Wow, I had almost forgotten about Roses dime store - how could I do that? Charly, you and I had very similar experiences - I remember my grandmother taking me into Roses regularly. She was a seamstress and I recall she spent her time looking at those McCall's patterns and notions while I would wander off to the toy section. And what is really funny is that air gun gun set - I remember that! And I wanted it, bad - but my grandmother and mom always said NO way!!! I never got it, but they did buy me a small cap pistol one time - took it away after a few hours though. :-)) I guess it was too loud and we lived in too close a quarters for any such nonsense but also my mother was very fearful, and rightfully so, of guns. When I became a cop in 1970 in CH for several years, I lived briefly with my parents after returning from four years in the US Coast Guard - having that gun in the house made her crazy.

I also recall the distinct odor of Roses and the candy section... and if I remember correctly, there was a time when they even sold pets, like small turtles? Am I confusing that with some other store? Do you remember that?

Perhaps one day you can do a story on Carrington Smith - you are right, he ate breakfast at the College Cafe every morning, then sat on those leather benches inside the open side doors of the theatre each morning while they cleaned the place for that's days shows - then, magically, at 12:30, the lights would dim and the place would come to life. I worked for him for a couple of years, first as a marquee boy, then as a day off projectionist and ultimately as an assistant manager, all before I was 18! I recall Archie Baldwin working there too - ever hear of him? Archie was a peculiar fellow but very serious about his job.

Anyway, as always, it is very nice to visit your site for a Chapel Hill "fix" - brings back memories stored deep in my mind, that I thought were long lost. Fun days were those. If only...
 

Tom Griffiths      12:35 PM Wed 5/19/2010

I was a student at Carolina from 1958 to 1961 and the articles on your site bring back so many great memories. In 1960 I rented a room in a house directly behind ROSE'S and use to walk through the store several times a day.
 

Margaret Drake      2:47 PM Tue 5/18/2010

A great piece that captures Rose's so well. I gather you were less than ten when you spent most of your time at the store. How did you ever remember all the items in their candy case?
 

Charly Mann      11:06 AM Tue 5/18/2010

Hello Robert and Sarah - We would make a great threesome in our Davy Crockett coonskin hats. I also got mine at ROSE'S, and there is a photo of me with it in the article on THE LITTLE RED SCHOOLHOUSE. As I recall Dianne Gooch also had a Davy Crockett outfit which I bet she got at ROSE'S.

For a couple of years I also got ducks and baby chicks at ROSE'S for Easter, and that may well be part of the next next article I write for Chapel Hill Memories.
 

Robert Humphreys      7:25 AM Tue 5/18/2010

Great shopping trip down memory lane! But the one that instantly came to mind was involving my Spanish class with Senora Basile. We tended to be bad students in her class and she would get frustrated with us and threaten to quit teaching and get a job. What else could you do besides teach, we'd ask. She would stammer a bit and finally, well I can get a job popping corn at ROSES! Ja, Ja, Ja, Ja!
I too bought a coon skin cap there but shamefully also shop lifted a roll of caps one time. It made me feel so bad that I remember it to this day. ROSES was a great store and you wonder why a store like that, including variety, size, value can't make a go of it. Or can it? I guess Family Dollar or Dollar General are today's version. Thanks, Charly for the memories!
 

Sylvia Owens      8:42 PM Mon 5/17/2010

My favorite story yet in Chapel Hill Memories, and I agree ROSE'S was the most thrilling store for a kid in the 1950s.
 

Sarah Geer      6:18 PM Mon 5/17/2010

Charly, as always, thank you for capturing some of the powerful memories of our childhood in Chapel Hill. I too spent many hours wandering those aisles and looking through the bins of merchandise. I especially recall buying a toy fishing rod for $1.00, which actually caught two young sharks off the pier at Myrtle Beach.
Roses also stocked a pen of young chicks and ducklings at Easter, dyed in various pastel colors. We tried hard to keep them alive, and at least two of those ducks found homes in the little pond near Hidden Hills.
I'm sure my Davy Crockett coonskin cap and fringed jacket came from Roses, as well as a beloved Ginny doll. My first apartment was probably equipped from the housewares section.

 

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Bite Sized Facts Link



Chapel Hill is located on a hill whose only distinguishing feature in the 18th century was a small chapel on top called New Hope Chapel. This church was built in 1752 and is currently the location of The Carolina Inn. The town was founded in 1819, and chartered in 1851.

 

 

What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. or the crisp October nights. No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be, The University of the People.

-- Charles Kuralt

 

 

Dark Side of the Hill -- Pink Floyd, the creators of the most popular album in history, Dark Side of the Moon, took the second half of their name from Floyd Council, a Chapel Hill native, and great blues singer and guitarist. He once belonged to a group called "The Chapel Hillbillies".

 

 

Check out Charly Mann's other website:
Oklahoma Birds and Butterflies

http://oklahomabirdsandbutterflies.com

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

There would probably be no Chapel Hill if the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees in 1793 had not chosen land across from New Hope Chapel for the location of the university. By 1800 there were about 100 people living in thirty houses surrounding the campus.

 

 

The University North Carolina's first student was Hinton James, who enrolled in February, 1795. There is now a dormitory on the campus named in his honor.

 

 

 

 

The University of North Carolina was closed from 1870 to 1875 because of lack of state funding.

 

 

 

 

William Ackland left his art collection and $1.25 million to Duke University in 1940 on the condition that he would be buried in the art museum that the University was to build with his bequest. Duke rejected this condition even though members of the Duke Family are buried in Duke Chapel. What followed was a long and acrimonious legal battle between Ackland relatives who now wanted the inheritance, Rollins College, and the University of North Carolina, each attempting to receive the funds. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and in 1949 UNC was awarded the money for the museum. Ackland is buried near the museum's entrance. When the museum first opened, in the early sixties, there were rumors that his remains were leaking out of the mausoleum.

 

 

The official name of the Arboretum on the University of North Carolina campus is the Coker Arboretum. It is named after Dr. William Cocker, the University's first botany professor. It occupies a little more than five acres. It was founded in 1903.

 

 

Chapel Hill's main street has always been called Franklin Street. It was named after Benjamin Franklin in the early 1790s.

 

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

Chapel Hill High School and Chapel Hill Junior High were on Franklin Street in the same location as University Square until the mid 1960s.

 

 

The Colonial Drug Store at 450 West Franklin Street was owned and operated by John Carswell. It was famous for a fresh-squeezed carbonated orange beverage called a "Big O". In the early 1970s, I managed the Record and Tape Center next door, and must have had over 100 of those drinks. The Colonial Drug Store closed in 1996.

 

 

Sutton's Drugstore, which opened in 1923, has one of the last soda fountains in the South. It is one of the few businesses remaining on Franklin Street that was in operation when I was growing up in the 1950s.

 

 

Future President Gerald Ford lived in Chapel Hill twice. First when he was 24, in 1938, he took a law couse in summer school at UNC. He lived in the Carr Building, which was a law school dormitory. At the same time, Richard Nixon, the man he served under as Vice President, was attending law school at Duke. In 1942, Ford returned to Chapel Hill to attend the U.S. Navy's Pre-Flight School training program. He lived in a rental house on Hidden Hills Drive.

 

 

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