Buster Brown began his existence as a comic strip character in 1902, but only two years later he had his own line of shoes and a marketing empire. He appeared on Broadway, and traveling troupes of Buster Browns and his dog Tige visited department stores and shoe stores around the country. We know this visit to the Paris Fair department store was on June 20th, though the year is a mystery. It must have been after 1906 when the brick building was built, but before Oak Street was paved about 1914. I'm looking forward to being able to search the newspaper archives to answer this question.
[Ed. note: Sure enough, the Hood River Glacier archives answered this question. The year was 1907.]
Buster Brown is being greeted like a rock star by these Hood River kids. In this era before TV or even radio, his fame spread by newspaper. It must have been very exciting for these children to see a comic strip character come to life.
How many of you wore Buster Brown's to your first day of school? I know I did. Apparently you can still buy them, but if you go to the Paris Fair to find them you'll have to settle for an iPad or an Italian dinner, as this spot now houses the computer store "Solutions" and Romul's Restaurant.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
At this time in my life, I am more impressed with the beautiful array of hats, than Buster Brown. Love the little boy in his overalls hanging on the stage reaching up to the man playing the part of Buster Brown. Typical small town boy.
I noticed the display of men's shirts in the right side of the photo in the window, how they are all folded and with the neck ties around them.
I wonder how many children went home with new Buster Brown shoes and I bet they weren't on any type of sale.
One of the first show we ever saw in Hood River on the Easy Vision Hoffman t.v., you know the one with the green screen was The Buster Brown Show. I personally liked Midnight the cat.
Too bad we don't have the Paris Fair so we could all put Buster Brown shoes on our Christmas wish list.....
charlott on 17th December 2013 @ 7:10am
Do you remember the x-ray machine in the shoe store used to make sure your Buster Browns were the correct size on your feet?
dsc on 17th December 2013 @ 7:18am
The X-ray machine was emmitting radiation !
The saying at the time was "while you are standing ther lookin your nuts are
Brian on 17th December 2013 @ 7:35am
Glad my shoes came out of Sears or "Monkey Wards" catalogs, High top , black and white Keds. All purpose. Thought that was the only shoe made for boys as every boy in town wore them.
Buzz on 17th December 2013 @ 7:47am
All kinds of things to see in this photo.
It will be interesting to look through previous photos and see where the photographer is standing.
l.e. on 17th December 2013 @ 7:55am
Buzz, they did sell Keds at the Paris Fair but this is probably a few years before they were introduced in 1916. Check out this post:
Arthur on 17th December 2013 @ 8:21am
Love, love, love the hats! Even though Buster Brown is the highlight of this picture, it's interesting how many people are looking at "the photographer?"
connie on 17th December 2013 @ 8:40am
When I was a boy in the 1940's, the Buster Brown shoes were sold at Johnson's Shoe Store, which was in the same block as the Paris Fair, but down the street.
Bill Seaton on 17th December 2013 @ 11:16am
Yes Art Johnson had Buster Brown's.
Charlott on 18th December 2013 @ 7:02am
I think Mr. McFarren either owned Johnson's Shoe store or worked there. I remember you had to step down into the store. (Maybe that isn't true, but seems like it)
NC on 18th December 2013 @ 8:46am
Glen McPherran (think that is the spelling) worked for Johnson's shoe store at one time, but I don't think he ever owned it.
Charlott on 19th December 2013 @ 7:16am
I think Charlott is right, Glen McPherren ran The Sport Center until it closed. Then he worked at Johnson Shoe Store.
Bill Seaton on 19th December 2013 @ 9:47pm
Yes, he ran The Sports Center for awhile. His daughter married my husband's best friend...
Charlott on 20th December 2013 @ 7:07am
This article in the Hood River Glacier describes the June 20th, 1907 event.
Jeffrey Bryant on 16th November 2014 @ 4:24am
Charlott, your family had the same brand of tv as we did. Remember the commercial song, "That golden lens, I realize, Protects my children's precious eyes! So for perfect television, get a Hoffman Easy Vision!" Did that screen really do anything to preserve our vision?
Barbara Parsons on 5th January 2021 @ 7:40pm
On the subject of performing animals visiting our town, does anybody remember the performing pig that our school kids walked all the way downtown to see? It performed on a stage in front of C.M & W.O. Sheppard's store.
Barbara Parsons on 5th January 2021 @ 7:45pm