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Herbert Boy's enjoying the rides at Crawford's - 1950's
by Mary Herbert

Crawford’s Market opened in 1937 in El Monte at Five Points on the corner of Valley and Garvey. They called it “The Biggest Little Country Store!” Everyone in the San Gabriel valley came to Crawford’s for their fresh produce, dairy and meat. The store was owned by Leemoria Barbara and Wayland Howard Crawford. The Crawford’s started out in Los Angeles with a store and a vegetable stand in the City of Bell. The couple found out soon that the inland valley was better suited for a big market so they opened a chain of stores from Alhambra, Montebello, El Monte and Rosemead. The El Monte Store had a Van de Kamp’s bakery with the women wearing those weird hats.
The stores would have a snack bar, a barber shop, jewelry store, shoe repair and even an ice cream stand under one roof. The stores would hold events such as pancake breakfasst, Easter Bonnet parades, Halloween Costume contests with prizes going to the best costume. Crawford’s also was deeply into returning to the community and especially to the Police departments by raising money for fallen policemen. When the local circus would come to town they were usually held at Crawford’s. At Christmas time they would hire a Santa Claus who would arrive by helicopter!
Most El Monte residents have fond memories of shopping at Crawford’s and events that happened here. Unfortunately all things do come to end and so in 1992 Crawford’s became landlords rather than owners.

Enjoy! Gary Cliser

BILLBOARD ADVERTISING - 1950's



Early 1940's marketing


SQUARE DANCING OUTSIDE - Mid 1950's

This is in front of the carousel at Crawfords Village Market. Taken in the mid-50's. Linda Delgado Ledesma's mom Betty, is wearing the dark dress with plaid on the sleves & at the bottom. Her partner, Jonesy, is wearing the plaid shirt and brother Donny said the callers name was Jimmy. The photo was taken by Frank Hewlett who had a Whistler Ave. address on the photo.


This is a 1950's postcard showing the interior of Crawford's country store located in "Fiesta Village", El Monte, California featuring Mexican wares. Caption states the owners, Carmen and Tove are shown in photo. This was located adjacent to The Village, a Mexican patio-cafe.
Crawford's entrance on the Garvey side. Judging by the cars, it must be late 1950's or early 1960's. Too bad it isn't a "front-on" view so we could see the sign better. But it does say "El Monte's Mexican Patio Cafe". - Kathy Andreas

Crawford's El Poche's Mexican Patio cafe Grand Opening

From Jim Wyatt (Class of 1952) - Jun 15, 2003 El Poche's cafe was at the south entrance of Crawfords. It was there about 1955-57. There was a whole area along that side of the main building called Fiesta Village....it was run by two ladies: Carmen Arieta and Tove' Neilson. I worked at Crawfords at that time. We used to put on musicals to raise money for employees that were in need for one reason or another... We did Oklahoma and Carmen was Miss Laurie, she did an outstanding job even if Shirley Jones was a blonde and Carmen had very dark hair. Had many good times with the Crawfords gang back then. Boy! Has that place ever changed now!!!! Things do change.

Crawford's cash register and checker

On the Merry-Go-Round....

You can see the PEP BOYS sign in the upper left.



Father and son enjoying the Ferris wheel ride.

The Smith's enjoying some fun time at Crawford's



RAY CRAWFORD. 1954


Crawford's Village Newsletter - 1950's


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The Crawford's Siblings, 1970's

Back Left to Right: William, Clarence, Chuck, Ina and Ronnie
Middle: Corrine and Sadie
Front Row: Don, WH, Eulaia and Odessa

Children's Benefit Fair, 1947

Some of the greatest drivers of the postwar era (and their wives) gathered in 1947 for this amazing photo. The occasion? A children's benefit fair at Crawford's Market in El Monte. From left are: unknown couple; Bill and Penny Taylor; Ray and Marion Crawford; Troy Ruttman; Sam and Alice Hanks; Danny and Elsie Oakes; George Beavis and family. Thanks to Alice Hanks for sharing this gem from the past!

The Crawford's Fire - 1940's

Hi Gary, I came across a picture that my dad (Ernst H. Andreas) took when the original Crawford's burnt down. You can see the Tumbleweed Theatre on the south side of Garvey Ave. The new Crawford's was built across the street within 2 years. I grew-up enjoying the carnival rides on the
Valley side too!
-Kathy Andreas

---Do you remember the night Crawford's burned ??? We lived in Wilmar (near Mark Kepple) at the time, my sister Jane (she went to Kepple) Leland Cleminson, Donna Coleman and I were outside visiting, ( Donna's mother was Ina Crawford Coleman, they lived up the street) We saw a strange red glow in the sky toward El Monte, we jumped into Lelands car and drove toward it, lo and behold it was Crawfords. As I remember, Leland helped with hoses etc. the rest of us just stood and stared. Quite a sight and a real disaster.
Joy Kaufman Allen '49

I've been "cruising" on and off for a few years wondering if anyone would post anything about the Biggest Country Store at Five Points. It was a delight to find your site posting the Life Magazine pictures.

I grew-up on Mountain View Road a couple of blocks up from Crawford's. My dad installed the sound system for Ray Crawford. We were there for the big "Watermelon Feeds", the "Big Cheese Wheels" and the great "Wednesday Night Drawings". I even have a picture of the helicopter that brought Santa Claus one year (early 1960's).

What's great is I have some dear, older friends who worked there in the 1940's and early 1950's. They can sure tell stories about all the wonderful events that bought the community together at Crawford's: there really is a rich history.

Thank you,
Kathy Andreas

Santa arriving at Crawford's - 1950's







Photos by Ernst Andreas

Photo Booth pics at Crawfords



Here is a picture of my parents Bernard and Dorothy Cliser and me - taken in 1958 at Crawford's in a photo booth very much like the one on the left.

Some more memories...


I checked your link and what you've posted is great!

Oh by the way, my dad's name is "Ernst" (no second e): he could be a little imposing as he had a heavy German accent... he designed and installed the sound system when Crawford's was rebuilt across the street. He'd also set-up for weekly Wednesday night drawings outside in the parking lot facing Mountain View. Pending how much you bought, you would receive drawing tickets; you'd tear it in half on your way out and drop one side of the ticket in a big drum and keep the other and hope your number was called. You had to be present to win.

The Santa Claus landing was around 1957-58. (Helicopters didn't come into commercial use till the mid 1950's.) Wish I could tell what movie was playing at the Tumbleweed, then we could nail down the year by googling the movie...

I have to chid you: you left out one very important department: the toy department! I think that is where my first Barbie Doll came from in the early 1960's. Crawford's really were ahead of their time by being a true "department" store: everything you could need. But even more, they cared about the community.

And of course the Red Goose Shoe Store to the left of the Valley side entrance. When I was about 6 years old, mom took me and my older sister to buy new Easter Sunday shoes for church. The manager would hide a plastic golden egg in a children's shoe box and if the shoes you bought had the egg, you'd win a stuffed animal. I won a big rabbit once! (It's tattered and old, but it's in a box in the attic.)

These pictures are from Crawford's 20th Anniversary. That's my dad in the white shirt; he was helping-out. A few years ago I shared these pictures with a classmate's elderly parents; her mom gasped and laughed; she recognized herself! She was in the picture holding her daughter, my friend Stella Costanza; she was standing right behind my dad. What a small world: but to discover that now!

I'll get the newsletter to you this weekend.

Regards,
Kathy Andreas

Memories of Crawfords....


Peggy (Perry) Davis (Class of 1948) -
I worked at Crawfords Market from 1960 to 1963 as a department store checker and some times checked on the grocery side......Jim Varney was my boss at that
time.....do any of you remember the giant cheese they had every year.....over a thousand lbs.....they had it sitting in the main isle of the store and would cut you
as much cheese as you wanted from the giant block.....Crawford's was open til midnight and I worked that shift because it made .10 cents more an hour.....at that timeI was making $2.75 an hour.....great money in those day's!!

Rory Varela (Class of 1974) - Was such a treat going to Crawfords even in the 50's and early 60's. I remember getting a golden egg from the goose at the shoe store.

Happy New Years from Crawfords... 1958




by Kathy Andreas

Crawford's Tobacco Shop, Interior Shot near registers



from Kathy Andreas

The Tumbleweed Theater across the street



The Tumbleweed Theatre was designed by architect S. Charles Lee for a client with limited capital who needed the theater for film-buying purposes. This particular client said he would accept anything, even a barn, as long as it had a projection booth.

So, Lee designed the exterior of the building to resemble a barn surrounded by a farmyard. Above the marquee stood a wooden tower topped by a windmill. The auditorium had an open-beamed ceiling with wagon-wheel light fixtures and murals of mules and cactus. The creative design was simple and inexpensive, yet captured the mood of the theater's isolated location.

The Tumbleweed opened in 1939 and was demolished sometime before 1970.
Daniel Fastrup - The real treat as a kid was going to Crawfords with my dad and he'd spring for a Carnation Ice Cream cone. He couldn't help himself. He loved ice cream.

The winner's of the food basket drawing at Crawford's

Customers waiting for the food basket drawing as they eat Free Beans at Crawfords

Charlene Quinn Canchola - Are you talking about Crawford's Market in El Monte? If so, I still remember a patio dining area there and they had an inground swimming pool. It was part of the market somehow.

Store interior display at Crawfords check-out