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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Aland's Penny Store ~

Aland's Toyland
We all loved this store.



34 comments:

marcia furman said...

Ahhh. I miss that place so much.

Walker said...

Now that's a good memory. the wooden floors, going to the back room, the dog under the table, and on and on. I remember bying my first "six-Shooter" and first ball glove there along with countless Lionel train parts.

Patrick said...

I miss that store about as much as any place in Butler. Walking in there as a kid and seeing so many bins and shelves filled with toys and games was like stepping into heaven.

Morgantown, WV

Anonymous said...

Maybe the all time best nostalgia photo ever published. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Heaven on Earth for a kid!!!

James said...

Even when your mom or grandma wasn't buying anything, Aland's was a wonderful place. I remember going in there a lot when I was a kid, before there was any mall in Butler. In the back, you always felt like you getting in on something, like it was a secret place and you were allowed to know it. And to a kid, Mr. Aland (I guess that was his name) seemed 100 years old. It was truly a wonderful, wonderful place, maybe the best place ever in Butler. Thanks for the posting.

rfharwood said...

I loved this place. I must have bought every paper dolls book ever published here. What a great memory.

Perry said...

As a younger person, I remember NOT be allowed to go too much past the cash register (near the narrow middle section). After I graduated, I again opened those wonderful, red swinging doors and was permitted to go past the middle section and pretty far back in the store. I realized that I had become an adult. What did I see in the rear of the store? Lionel trains! Alands must have been an important train for trains, Lionel accessories, and Pasticville houses and buildings.

Pat Gallagher said...

Lionel trains and slot car race sets . . . what a great store! Got my Aurora race set there. in the early 70's I'd buy some train stuff too. Also, remember all those plastic model kits on the wall behind the cash register. I stopped in each day the week they were closing up. Bought the last 2 sections of Lionel track and lots of 5 and 10 cent stuff on all those tables on the left side. Recently, they replaced those old red doors, kinda sad . . .

Anonymous said...

What remains to be said beyond "ditto!" The BEST!

Marty O'Brien-Sheldon said...

Yes,Ditto to it all. I loved their selection of Matchbox cars which were also behind the register. For a treat, I would take my boys in there and let them each pick a car.

Even as a grown up I would go in there on my lunch break just to look around.

It truly was a piece of heaven on earth!

Mariann said...

My uncle, John Ihlenfeld, worked at Aland's Toyland as long as I can remember. I loved to get paper dolls there as a young girl. Bill Aland wasn't a man of many words but he certainly made alot of "Butler kids" lives happier. RIP Mr Aland and Uncle John.

Richard Goehring said...

I remember buying little magnetic "Scottie dogs" when I was very small. They came in a box about the size of a box of matches. One black and one white ...with magnets on their feet. Head to head, they'd attract. head to tail, they'd repel.

A great store and great memories.

C. Snodgrass said...

I also loved this place. It was a big adventure going in there to see what you could find-even as an adult.There's no place anymore like this place.Yes, it was heaven on Earth.

Anonymous said...

Sound like a interesting place- A updated version of this place that is somewhat local is Playthings Etc on RT 8 pass clearview mall a definate kids paradise!

Anonymous said...

It was a place that stays in my memories of childhood in Butler. What a joy it brought to me and many other children. I can still remember my mom taking me in the store and how I never wanted to leave. Great place.

Anonymous said...

I miss this store so much. I loved it as a kid and then was able to purchase Christmas presents for my child at a decent price. The selection was enormous and you could please anyone. Christmas was a blast! Kids walked in that store and were WIDE-EYED. What a memory! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

The new owner of the building removed those great red wooden double front doors. I hope they don't remove the mirror on the outside of the store. The mirror was left from the days when Aland's started as a men's clothing/tailor shop. We have a historical society and a historic district, but yet we continue to allow the outside of many of these building to be trashed. Look what they are going to do the storefront of the old Kirpatrick's Sporting Goods Store?

Anonymous said...

for the size of the building, i believe aland's had alot more toys in thier store then any other toy store before them or any after, including the big name places like toy-r-us, etc...

kathyann said...

Very cool place! I loved going in there as a kid!

Anonymous said...

Another great Butler store for kids was Reed's Hobby Shop. It was on the second floor of a building on Main street - same block as Miller's shoes. Mrs. Reed was always very helpful.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how many batons with silver sparkle tops my mom bought there. Wondeful place.

Donna Murphy said...

This was my family owned business. I thought I would let you know why you were not allowed in the back of the store. There were no secrets, just prizes! Real gypsies would come in and buy all of their prizes and stuffed animals for the fairs and farm shows from all over. They would buy gross after gross. We had almost the same thing in the front, but in smaller amounts. I bet you also didn't know their was a elevator there that went to the second floor being pulled by a rope! And yes, his name was Bill Aland and my Grandma Emma's dog Skipper. Of course their was more than one. My cousin, Joe, owns the building now and rents it out. Donna Chuba Murphy

Richard J. Palmer said...

I remember getting a little turtle with a painted picture on the shell. They were popular in the 30's. So were Japanese paper mache umbrellas. We also had little boats called put put boats which you floated in the bathtub. They had a little boiler. You filled it with water, lit a little candle which went under the roof of the boat and it went around the bathtub making a noise like put put. Hence, the name.

Julie said...

I remember all the little trinkets that were in open boxes near the front of the store. You could buy little babies, or bottles, or animals. They were great for craft projects or just to collect. After moving away from Butler after I graduated from high school, I looked forward to visiting Butler and I always stopped in Alands. It was like reliving my childhood walking into the store after so much time had passed. How lucky we were to have a store like that.

Anonymous said...

I can still remember the creaking floors and the shelves that seemed so tall (of course, I was a little tyke then). It seemed like they had everything a kid would want.

It's a shame that kids now don't have that kind of experience!

Anonymous said...

My two favorite spots on Main Street were: Alands Toy Store and Reed's Hobby Shop. It was on the second floor behind Sheevlys Barber Shop if I recall correctly.

Anonymous said...

Why did you take off the original front doors and put on the the ugly black modern door. Please tell your brother not to remove the mirror as you walk out the door.

Anonymous said...

Every time we visited Butler, my grandfather took me to Aland's, which he called the Penny Store. He told me I could get anything I wanted because everything in the store was just one penny. I never went home empty handed. Such a kind, generous man. I still have many of the presents he bought me, including a plastic mounted head of a black panther with golden eyes that I kept on my bedroom wall, even though the shining gold eyes made it difficult to fall asleep some nights. Thank you, granddad.

Anonymous said...

What was the parrot's name that lived in the back?

A. Pete

B. Carmichael

C. Toby

D. Sheldon

Anonymous said...

I loved that store. Remember it from way back. It was like Christmas every time I went in.

Anonymous said...

Liked the "little bit of history". Thanks, Charles

Linda NC said...

I remember my Mom taking my sister and I to Aland's in the late 40's. Mostly we purchased paper dolls and coloring books and crayons. It was our most favorite place to go. In the late 60's and 70's I was taking my children and they couldn't wait to explore. I think at that time we could go in the back. Wish it was still there to take our grandchildren!

Linda NC

Nina said...

I always wanted to buy a rubber chicken from Aland's!