That really is an impressive facade on the Smith-Bridgman building.
Great letterhead. We moved to Grand Blanc in late '66 and my Mom all but lived at the Bella Vista Mall- I think the Smith B's opened in 1968.
I wish someone would post an actual photo of good old Smith B's....I loved that store!Roadside Diner Lover
I worked at Smith-B's from Dec. 1965 until May 1971 and then again from Dec. 1976 until April 1980. I worked in cards, stationary and notions from 65-71.From 76 until 80, although I started back in stationary & cards, I worked every department in the store, except for the leased departments, although some times I did give breaks to those employees.My Mom just passed in March - in her cedar chest is a stamped (for embroidery) table cover with the Smith-Bridgman's pin tag (price) still in the corner.
A fond memory from my childhood is shopping with my mother at Smith B's. She always used to get me a Coke at the counter restaurant on the mezzanine. This was in the early sixties and they still used one of those dispensers that mixed the fizzy water with the Coke syrup. I'd sit and watch people going up and down the escalator or look over the balcony to the first floor. Bought a lot of 45 records and a few books on the mezzanine book/record store.
When I was a little girl, I would go shopping dowtown with my Aunt Hedy the Friday after Thanksgiving. I used to Love Smith Bridman's, and Kresge's! I remember Smith Bridgman's had this woman running the elevator and she had this uniform she wore, and I remember just being in awe of her! And, who can forget that incredible chandelier on the main floor?!?
Wouldn't it be great to have a auction of some old Flint memorabilia? The money could go to assisting with the renovation of Flint!
My Great GRand Father was Charles T Bridgman who built this store. great to see this stationary. thank You .~ B Bridgman MA
Hi B. Bridgman, hoping you will look at my neighborhood website and shed some light on something for me if it is even applicable. I live in Houghton Lake, MI and am researching our neighborhood called LaMona Beach which was founded by an organization called the Houghton Lake Syndicate. I have found an old stock certificate and was told that the corporate offices for the Syndicate were at a building called the Flint B. Smith Building in Flint. With further checking I am wondering if what was actually being referred to was the Smith Bridgman building. I was told that some of the names of the The Syndicate were: President: Mr. EG Smith from Swartz Creek. VP: Mr. I.N. Latchaw of Lansing. Sec/Treasurer: Mr. William Arbuckle from Flint.Hoping you can tell me if any of these names are connected with the Smith Bridgman building and if you know of any of their history, I would love to hear that. What we are trying to do is restore a historical beach and I am researching how it all began back in 1928 and why, and who the historical players are. You can see the website for the beach at www.LaMonaBeach.com where you can view the stock certificate and the history as I have it thus far. Anything you can confirm or negate or add to would be most welcome. Thank you, Margo
The Flint B. Smith Building was later known as the Sill Building. http://www.psmic.com/Locations.htmNot the same as the Smith Bridgman building.
Wow! We want to talk to you ... or anyone else with cool memories of Smith B's. My City Magazine is doing a "Flashback" piece on it. Can anyone from ExPats help us out? Thanks - keep up the good work.Sherron Barden, Managing EditorMy City Magazine
B Bridgman, glad you found the site. If you ever want to share any memories or artifacts of Smith B's, just let me know.Thanks,gordieyoung(at)sbcglobal(dot)net
Hi Gordy, hoping you will look at my neighborhood website and shed some light on something for me if it is even applicable. I live in Houghton Lake, MI and am researching our neighborhood called LaMona Beach which was founded by an organization called the Houghton Lake Syndicate. I have found an old stock certificate and was told that the corporate offices for the Syndicate were at a building called the Flint B. Smith Building in Flint. With further checking I am wondering if what was actually being referred to was the Smith Bridgman building. I was told that some of the names of the The Syndicate were: President: Mr. EG Smith from Swartz Creek. VP: Mr. I.N. Latchaw of Lansing. Sec/Treasurer: Mr. William Arbuckle from Flint.Hoping you can tell me if any of these names are connected with the Smith Bridgman building and if you know of any of their history, I would love to hear that. What we are trying to do is restore a historical beach and I am researching how it all began back in 1928 and why, and who the historical players are. You can see the website for the beach at www.LaMonaBeach.com where you can view the stock certificate and the history as I have it thus far. Anything you can confirm or negate or add to would be most welcome. Thank you, Margo
Smith Bridgman's had a Teen Board which a girl from each local high school was chosen to represent their school. Our picture appeared on the second floor wall in front if the escolater that could be seen as you stepped off. We had fashion shows and the best show was the Bridal The Flint Journal was always there to take pictures and they appeared in Saturdays paper. I loved this store and have wonderful memories during 1966-67 on the Teen Fashion Board.
Talk about memories, my mother worked in the annex for many years until she retired. First she sold vacuums, then when the Weber grill came out she sold that in the spring and summer. She used to do Weber cooking demos in the alley.
I think you actually spell it stationery when it's paper?
Damn, yet another typo. Who knows how many there are floating around. I'm clearly not a copy editor. Thanks for the catch.
Even Big Bird makes mistakes Gordy.. Heard that one before?
Dear Gordon,Would you or anyone out there, possibly B. Bridgman of MA, know the address on Saginaw St. It's to settle a bet.Although, Smith B's was great at Christmas with the window displays and seeing Santa(we still have those photos), Maas Bros and the Vogue were my mom's favorite shops downtown. But, I can sure remember those sugar fruit slice candies displayed next to the elevator. What a brilliant merchandising concept. I still live in Flint and go downtown quite often to see the progess of rebirth, but these new kids on the block have no idea of how great it used to be!I went to St. Leo's and Powers for education, but I was baptised at St. Marys.Sincerely, Susan of VintageVogue55@yahoo.com
My brother worked in the warehouse and he met his wife at Smith-Bridgman. She was the redheaded elevator lady. I loved to shop there when I was in high school in the 60's
I worked in the Shoe Dept till 1966 when I moved to San Francisco CA. I was the Asst. Mgr in the basement and then Mgr of the Men's shoe dept on the Mezz. I miss the old downtown before all the Malls started opening. What I weird was when I was 16 I worked at the Fair Store downtown at Christmas time every year till I graduated.
I worked in the basement in the late 60's under a manager called Mr. Tibbits (not sure of spelling) Did you know him?
I worked in the basement under Mr. Tibbits, part time in summer when I was going to college. I worked several years. Cathy Buchan
It's fun reading everyone else's memories from shopping the downtown area of Flint. I worked at Smith B's in the ladies accessories dept back 1971 before landing another job with Michigan Bell a few blocks away. Lunch hours were spent looking for sales and on warmer days, eating lunch in the park. Remember a film crew approaching me to do a clip for an eyeglass commercial. Also remember being pinched while in a crowd, shopping the side walk sales at the end of summer. Use to draw quite a crowd of people.
Smith B's was such an elegant department store. My husband and I purchased our wedding china there at $5.95/place setting (Noritake Cheri)and Fostoria pink glassware back in 1963. I still have every single piece and am still married to the same man!! I just found a sack with Smith B's logo and inside was a cut-out bride for a bridal shower marked Hallmark so don't know if I purchased it at Smith B's or not. That has to be approximately 50 years old. I, too, loved the elevator with the gal running it and telling what you could find on each floor. Such memories.
I co-managed the 5th floor, at Smith-B's, with Bill Drury, from 1972-74. As with all of us who grew up here, have a million memories of the store. Recently purchased the 4 ft. tall Nativity Scene from Smith-B's & have about 30 other pieces(boxes, bags, pictures, etc). The address was 439 S. Saginaw(hope you won the bet), & is the same as my current address in Flushing. I would enjoy corresponding with any one interested in getting a discussion group together. Flint has reinvented itself, & its an amazing miracle to witness! I do yoga downtown everyday(YogaLoftFlint.org) & love returning to be a part of the revitalization! Thanks for making this forum available, to share the memories! Peace!
Hello Alan. Sheila McAlister here. I also worked there as well as representing our school. I was there from 1966-68.
Given that a bet was finally settled, just thought I'd re-post this one.
I have an old key from smith bridgmans, it has b l c inscribed on it. Anyone know what this is for? firstname.lastname@example.org
I worked at smith-B's from 1970 to the summer of 1972 and was on their "Teen Board"..I worked in many departments there and it was such a special time.Loved going to the mezzanine to the lunch counter and the record dept.I had a friend who worked at Haig's Shoes across the street and sometimes we'd meet at Kewpies for lunch.Oh I could go on and on about the wonderful moments I had in downtown Flint!
Annie, I have had such diverse friends over the years as Debbie Fischer on the Mezzanine at Smith Bridgman's around that 1971-1972 time frame, and Garo and Ken Kotchounian, who were part of the family who owned Haig's Shoes, who I met in the early 1980s. Garo related how he would work on Satudays in the glory days of Flint's Downtown, as it was their busiest store in those days. He was truly saddened when Haig's had to close that store, and eventually the whole chain. Garo passed away quite a few years ago now.
My recollection was that the address for Smith-B's was 435 - 453 S. Saginaw ~~ there were two doors on Saginaw Street. The northern door had one of those revolving doors and regular doors. Coming into the store, to the right was the cosmetics department and to the left was men's furnishings ~~ the aisle went all the way to the back door which opened onto Brush Alley. The southern door, on Saginaw brought you into Womens' Sportswear. There was an open staircase to the Carriage Room ~~ the mezzanine "food court". It included tables in the front and counter seating ~~ there was also table seating in the rear ~~ Mr. Mott & his co-horts used to eat there often,
In January, 1969 I moved from California, where I was born and raised, to attend the Flint U of M with my cousin, who lived in Fenton. My aunt, who had lived most of her life in the midwest, told me that I should wait to buy my Winter coat in Michigan, because coats would be heavier than anything I'd find in California. I took her advice and found the cutest mustard yellow wool coat on sale. Not my color particularly, and I don't believe I've worn "mustard" before or after, but I loved that cute coat!
Hello I live in Utah and came across a fur coat that has its original tag on the inside liner that says," Smith Bridgeman's Flint Michigan." just wondering if they were known to use real fur and if so, what kind of furs did they use? Sounds like an amazing piece of history. Love reading everyone's posts about the old department store
Thanks for commenting. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.