The Claycord Online History Museum – Park-N-Shop & Willow Pass Rd.

December 17, 2013 14:00 pm · 58 comments


Thanks to “Kirkwood” for sending this 1959 picture from a Mt. Diablo High School yearbook showing Park-N-Shop and Willow Pass Rd. in Concord.

“Kirkwood” says “At the far right is the water tower that served Concord. It belonged to California Water Service and was located near where the Brenden theatre is now and directly across from Lamberts Bakery bldg. There was a small office at the base of the tower. I don’t remember the source of the water but I do remember it tasted terrible!”

Thanks for the look back in time!

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area.

If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online!

Click on the tag below titled “Claycord Online Museum” to view other items!


1 Don P - N. Concord December 17, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Anyone know what the other stores were to the right of Pennys?

2 JET December 17, 2013 at 2:33 PM

This is great! Thanks for sharing!
Look how new and fresh everything is!

3 Growing up in Concord December 17, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Kahns, Rhodes, Liberty House all different times

4 Aimless December 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Wasn’t Pixeland in that general area too before it moved to its current location? Does anyone remember where it was?

5 WCMom December 17, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Ah, Liberty House! I remember that chain.

6 Joe December 17, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Was Chick’s Donuts there at this time?

7 Kirkwood December 17, 2013 at 2:57 PM

The large store next to Pennys was Kahns, a clothing store which later became Rhodes. As I remember, Pennys was 3 floors including the basement. A quarter midget race track and King Norman’s Wonderland was at the far end of the property.

8 Kirkwood December 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Woolworths five and dime was there.

9 Mark December 17, 2013 at 3:06 PM

I worked at Victor Shell station right across the street in the late ’60. Everyone would cruise through the mall and come over for .75 cents of gas. A lot of guys would hand me beers, but I never drank them, well not while I was working anyway. Radios were all on the same station, heard Wooly Bully and Tighten Up constantly.

10 Terry December 17, 2013 at 3:13 PM

No way! Time changes everything. glad there are more trees. Only been here a few years but love Concord. Hats off to you that were raised here. Such a great town.

11 Mr. Pink December 17, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Wow. I don’t think Willow Pass has looked that clean since.

12 California Nightmare December 17, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Yes, notice the condition of the street. No potholes, cracks, or other signs of neglect. No vagrants panhandling or pushing shopping carts around. No graffiti or trash scattered about.

Ah the good old days, when small government did a few things well.

13 NoMoreFreeRide December 17, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Trees are there they’re just very small since they were just planted.

14 WonderfulPic December 17, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Thank you for the great picture of the old times. Amazing how clean everything looks. No trash in the streets and no traffic. I hope that one day things will be nice again.

15 Stella December 17, 2013 at 3:59 PM

I remember in the early 70′s when gas was 65 cents per gallon at shell.

16 There I Said It December 17, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Now your lucky to get out of the parking lot without being hit by an uninsured illegal Mexican, yelled at by some black hood rat or asked for change by a crackhead.

Aaahh…diversity. It makes our state so wonderful.

17 Anon. December 17, 2013 at 4:05 PM

O terry…you will change your tune soon enough.

18 nytemuvr December 17, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Got my foot caught in the escalator at that Penneys… Converse shoes, thanks Penneys. I don’t remember the water tower, must have torn it down by the time I can remember( born ’54).

19 nytemuvr December 17, 2013 at 4:10 PM

I still have all my toes, almost not.

20 Hope December 17, 2013 at 4:27 PM

I used to love the snowman that went up in that old Park n Shop sign at Xmas time.

21 Chester E. Kitty December 17, 2013 at 4:30 PM

I love this picture! I miss the original Park N Shop sign!!!! And Woolworth’s and Grants and … and … and ….

22 Anon December 17, 2013 at 4:42 PM

I remember going to see Santa at Rhodes. There was a white nativity scene on the ledge near the Rhodes sign that was lit up at night. Pretty.

23 The New Dick Lyons December 17, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Before the name change, “Smorga Bob’s” was “Smorgy Boys.” It saved them a good chunk of money on the new sign.

Oh, and “Smorgy Boys” had nothing to do with “Perry Boy’s Smorgy.” Let’s not start that argument.

24 MadMom December 17, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Terry, you are right. Concord is a great town. It is what you make of it.
Mayor, love the picture. I remember Rhodes and Liberty House. I believe the world would be a better place if we still had Woolworth’s. You could find everything there. And most of them had soda fountains! Imagine!

25 Growing up in Concord December 17, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Keep in mind that the whole thing was built on landfill; old pits filled with water, weeds, debris, really horrible.

26 Antler December 17, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Yes, Chick’s was there. One entrance into Woolworth’s was just a few feet from Chick’s.

27 steve weir December 17, 2013 at 6:03 PM

The rides at Pixie Playland came from King Norman’s which was located about where Fry’s is today.

28 anon December 17, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Beautiful! no traffic.

29 Tired of it. December 17, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Don P. I don’t remember all of them, but there was a Kahn’s (Later called Rhodes, then Liberty House and is now where Ross is. There was a Woolworth’s Five and Dime with a lunch counter. A Grants store (similar to Woolworths, where the Office Depot is/was?). Shoe store (Gallenkamps I think?) A small dress shop. Several small business the names of which escape me. I could be wrong but I think Chick’s doughnuts has been there forever.

30 Willis December 17, 2013 at 6:41 PM

@ there I said it

You’ve hit the nail on the head.

31 DD December 17, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Buzzy Bee Hobbies!!

32 Silva December 17, 2013 at 7:43 PM

There were only a very few small trees anywhere in Concord back then. Anyone remember the pie place?

33 ChampagneKitty December 17, 2013 at 9:08 PM

My Nana used to work at Kahn’s department store and my Grandaddy was an electrician who helped make the Park-N-Shop neon sign.

34 J. December 17, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Remember Levitt’s Furniture where Fry’s is now?

35 Dr. Jellyfinger December 17, 2013 at 10:00 PM

The House of Pies………… yes, I have fond memories of that place… even though it was haunted.

36 anon December 17, 2013 at 10:34 PM

DD…I rmember Buzzy Bees Hobby! Loved the smell of the place. You could see the projects being worked on if you came through the back. I remember seeing a lot of grape clusters in avocado green and harvest gold. It wad the 70s.

37 After Grant's, it became C.Marcus hardware, remember? December 18, 2013 at 12:55 AM

A really good hardware store, so much better than the big boxes we have now, or the Ace places.

38 John Locker December 18, 2013 at 6:28 AM

What a great photo! I remember this well, as my family moved to Concord in 1960. The population (as I recall) was around 40,000 then, and the city budget didn’t seem to depend on vote-getting. The storm drainage was terrible, as Market Street on the south end of Park ‘N Shop always flooded during heavy rainstorms. I lived in Concord for 27 years. We go back to visit family every year now, and the changes are really eye-opening. But we still make a Chick’s run whenever we’re in town!

39 Glen December 18, 2013 at 6:53 AM

I’ll take cell phones, internet, better medical care (smallpox was still around back then) etc, along with panhandlers and droopy pants any day over those days. I’m not young at 54 either. I guess grass is always greener on the other side… Did like F.W Woolworth’s though.

40 imrereurrere December 18, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Does anyone remember the “pop shop” in park and shop?how about red carpet real estate and dolly Madison where the police now

41 Silva December 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Mmmmmm.. House of Pies.. I ate Grasshopper Pie years before I learned there was a coctail by that name!

42 Silva December 18, 2013 at 9:54 AM


43 Silva December 18, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Oh, C. Marcus Hardware! THAT was a real store.

44 IRememberNow December 18, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Yes. I remember Buzzy Bee’s. I loved that store. Was so sad when it closed. There used to be a really great yarn store where the Bagel place is now. I spent lots of my allowance and babysitting money in both stores. I miss the old stores. Nowadays everything is the same.

@ Terry: I hope you will alwyas love living in Concord. Like someone said, it is what you make of it. We can all do small things to make things better for everyone around us. Happiness is a choice.

45 Sounds Good to me. December 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM

This is what it looked like before our country was invaded! Now, everything is foreign, they Hispanics are cruising with their awful music. Most of the nice stores moved out because the population had changed and their merchandise was getting destroyed.
I still live in this town, but stay as far away from there as possible. Unless of course there’s another Cinco de mayo strike. Remember that?

46 Cvhs1994 December 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Remember the Mexicans owned it before you. (Todos Sandos, Pacheco, etc). Don’t be mad that their heirs are coming back to take it back.

Viva Mexico.

47 Barbara December 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM

My dad used to work at Mayfair Market. Concord was the best place to grow up. There were so many orchards and open space back in the day.

48 Joe December 18, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Remember the dead fish smell at Levitz?

49 Mimi (original) December 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM

@Tired of It; I don’t know where you think we’re talking about but there’s No ROSS store in Park-n-Shop, there’s a Burlington Coat Factory (tho how it survives, I’ll never figure out because I never find anything there. I do find things at Ross!).

50 Winston December 18, 2013 at 2:50 PM

I like the Park & Shop way better today than I would like that thing. What a dreary place Concord was in the 1950′s!

51 RunnerDope December 18, 2013 at 3:58 PM

>> This is what it looked like before our country was invaded! Now, everything is foreign, they Hispanics are cruising with their awful music.

That’s what the Indians have been saying for a few hundred years.

52 Kathi December 18, 2013 at 5:35 PM

I remember being able to see the top of the Park n Shop sign spinning at night from my front yard miles away. I used to love going there and eating at the House of Pies. Thanks for the picture!

53 Lizzie December 18, 2013 at 8:31 PM

@ Mimi Original….before Burlington Coat Factory was in that spot Ross was there at Park n Shop. I know cause I used to shop there.

54 marc December 18, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Rhodes Department Store?

55 LJ December 18, 2013 at 9:50 PM

@Kathi…good memory about the sign! I agree. My mom got her hair done at “Paris Beauty College” in the 60′s when it was a few doors down from the hobby store.
@Mimi….there was a Ross Store there

56 J. December 19, 2013 at 3:24 AM

Yah Levitz your right.

57 Mac December 19, 2013 at 7:33 AM

Before Sun Valley came in.
Park-n-Shop was the big shopping spot around here.
At least it was for my family.

And the Circus that use to come around and set up right across the street.
Where all the huge building are now

I remember getting sugar cubes for smallpoxs at Park-n-Shop too.
(many moons ago)

This area has sure changed a lot since then.
Can`t believe it is even the same area.

58 Linda December 19, 2013 at 8:50 AM

My friend and I would go to the liquor store down by the donut store, and buy our RC Cola. We would cruise and meet people from other schools, always had fun.

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