Westwood’s Big Store

The Big Store, Westwood.
By far one of the Westwood’s largest attractions was its company store. This was not your typical company store. Westwood would not have a so-called Main Street complete with a business district, but Fletcher was intrigued with the development of department stores in major cities. Adaptations, of course, were made for what worked in San Francisco or Minneapolis would not apply to Westwood.
Of course the building needed to be conveniently located. What better location than near the mill entrance and adjacent to the railroad depot. This store was dubbed the Big Store and during its evolution kept getting, bigger and bigger.
On Christmas Eve 1913, the Big Store opened its doors for business. The Plumas National provided the following description: “A complete butcher shop, a drug store, grocery department, men’s furnishings, women’s goods, hardware and shoe departments are all under special heads, each of whom is a specialist in his line. Nineteen men are employed in the store at the present time.”
In time, certain features in the original store would be relocated elsewhere such as offices, thus providing the Big Store with even more room to expand its merchandise. In February 1916, the Big Store got even bigger with another forty-foot addition. The facility could boast 73,125 square feet of retail space, with an additional 8,800 square feet utilized for offices and other purposes. It was the largest department store north of Sacramento.

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