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Milton Julian and Milton's Clothing Cupboard

Tracks include five classic Milton's radio ads, and a song I produced  in 1978 by  a group from Chapel Hill named The Blazers called "I Ain't Got You" that includes a line about Miltons.

By Charly Mann

Milton's ad from June 1971

Milton's Clothing Cupboard, Milton Julian, Franklin Street, Chapel Hill

          Milton's first ad 9-24-1948 (note they are in a temporary location)

Milton Julian is the personification of joy. Of all the people I knew growing up in Chapel Hill from the 1950’s through the 1990’s, no one seemed to enjoy what he was doing more than this Franklin street merchant. His fame is derived from his store, Milton’s Clothing Cupboard, which he operated from 1948 to 1992, selling upscale men’s, and often women’s, clothing. Milton was also always a man just a little ahead of his time, and continued to adapt to fashion trends better than any other store in town. While his brother’s store Julian’s for example maintained the Ivy League look throughout its existence, Milton’s continued to evolve without ever feeling dated or trendy.

Milton's Clothing Cupboard, Franklin Street Chapel Hill, NC

Third Anniversary January 1952

Summer Giveaway from July 1972 and Frogstrangler from February 1964

Milton was also a visionary. It was his imagination that created the most original and enticing newspaper and radio ads in Chapel Hill, which you can sample here. He also was the only local merchant to successfully expand outside the confines of Chapel Hill, eventually opening stores in Charlotte, Dallas, and Atlanta.

Franklin Street Chapel Hill, MIlton's Clothing Cupboard, Milton Julian
Heading for Milton's 1971

I am convinced Milton Julian, with his love for people and outgoing personality, would have been successful at anything he would have attempted in life. Fortunately, for us, he decided to open up a clothing store in Chapel Hill.

Milton Julian at 90

Milton Julian and his wife Virginia are alive and well, living on a farm outside of Chapel Hill.

 Milton's Clothing Cupboard Advertisement, Chapel Hill, NC
From July 1952

Thanks to Gary Edens - radio master, for the Milton's radio spots



Terry B      10:25 AM Mon 8/15/2011

I worked at Miltons for a few weeks in 1970 before going across the street to work at Foister's Camera for the next two years. I had worked in a men's retail clothing store for about two years already, but Milton would not let me wawork with any customers. He only allowed me to clean the store and straighten the shelves, which I thought was pretty boring. I guess he thought I had to prove myself? Apparently Debi had nicer legs than I did? Anyway, a friend of mine who worked at Foister's got me a job there than paid more money, and since I was a photographer it was a good fit for me.

Chuck Morgan      11:11 AM Fri 11/26/2010

Bruce is following closely in his father&#39;s shoes !<br \><br \>Great memories of courting Susan, my soon-to-be wife, window shopping at a place this poor student couldn&#39;t even afford to go inside !<br \><br \>Now that I got a job, Milton&#39;s and then Bruce Julian&#39;s have become my favorite place to shop for clothing !

Debi Jacobs      8:56 AM Sun 12/6/2009

I worked at Milton&#39;s in 1972 in the lady&#39;s section in the back. What a great job it was! Milton even flew me to New York with him on a buying trip. We went to the Betsy Johnson showroom when she was just starting out as a designer. Trippy!<br \>I was also friends with his nephew Alexander Julian, who had a shop called Alexander&#39;s Ambition. I worked for him occasionally on my day off. I&#39;m glad to hear Milton is still alive and kicking--he was a wonderful man.

clothes horse      7:46 PM Wed 9/9/2009

I believe that John Clark is correct about the Julian brothers starting out with a bike shop. I always heard that the building in which the shop was housed was the one on West Rosemary that later became The Shack, a bar treated elsewhere in Chapel Hill Memories. I couldn&#39;t verify this, though.

Nick Grafton      4:50 PM Thu 4/2/2009

I really enjoy looking at these ads. The prices are insane by today&#39;s standards.

Carol Bearden      8:24 AM Thu 4/2/2009

How long did Milton&#39;s have women clothing? I remember they had a really great women&#39;s clothing section in the back of the store in the late 60&#39;s and early 70&#39;s.

John Clark      9:01 PM Wed 4/1/2009

I use to hear that Milton and Maurice had a bicycle business or something similar before they went into clothing. Is that just a Chapel Hill legend? I&#39;ve always wondered how they got into the clothing business.

Gary Edens      8:32 PM Wed 4/1/2009

Milton loved the clothing business. He could have been a big-time creative director of some New York advertising agency. As a merchant, he was extremely creative. When he was a client of mine at WKIX, he did virtually all the copywriting for the commercials. It was fun to handle his account in the late 60s. Glad Uncle Milton is still in Chapel Hill and doing well.

Loretta N      5:35 PM Wed 4/1/2009

God - Milton does not age. He looks marvelous. I hope he is doing well. I&#39;m sure my husband spent a couple of thousand dollars at Miltons between 1954 and 1986.

Don West      4:19 PM Wed 4/1/2009

I love these ads. Milton was certainly innovative. Think how few stores stayed opened under the same owner as long as his.

T McGowan      12:54 PM Wed 4/1/2009

Milton&#39;s was my favorite store on Franklin Street, and Milton Julian is what made is great.

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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.



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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:
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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.



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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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