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Chattanooga Times Free Press archive photo courtesy of ChattanoogaHistory.com / This 1948 photo of Haverty's Furniture at 619 Market St. was taken by Chattanooga News-Free Press photographer Delmont Wilson. The store operated at this location for 54 years before closing in August 1982.

For much of the 20th century, Haverty's Furniture was a popular place to shop in downtown Chattanooga for home furnishings and appliances.

Part of a regional furniture-store chain based in Atlanta, the Haverty's store at 619 Market St. in Chatanooga was part of the downtown retailing scene for 54 years before closing in 1982.

At its peak, the store included 50,000 square feet of showroom space, according to advertisements and news reports.

This photo, part of a collection of vintage newspaper images at ChattanoogaHistory.com, was taken in November 1948 by Chattanooga News-Free Press photographer Delmont Wilson. It shows the store as it looked prior to major expansions and remodels in the 1950s and 1960s.

In a newspaper advertisement in 1949, a year after this photo was taken, the store touted its bargain basement, where a used refrigerator could be purchased for $29.95 and a Philco cabinet radio sold for the same price.

Another newspaper ad from the 1940s said that Harverty's furniture inventory was "built to weather the years and become part of your home life." The store offered "convenient budget payments" in the decades before credit cards became prevalent.

In late 1950, Yolande Betbeze, who had just been crowned Miss America 1951, did a two-day promotional visit to the store. She told a local newspaper reporter that she thought beauty was incidental in the selection of Miss America.

Chattanooga History.com

Launched by history enthusiast Sam Hall in 2014, ChattanoogaHistory.com is maintained to present historical images in the highest resolution available.

If you have photo negatives, glass plate negatives or original nondigital prints taken in the Chattanooga area, contact Sam Hall for information on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no charge.

 

 

In 1957, the store added 20,000 square feet of space from an adjacent building, allowing an 80 percent increase in display space.

In 1968 the store was enlarged again and redecorated. Rawson Haverty Sr., president of the then 53-store chain, was present for the dedication of the expansion. Haverty's family started the chain in Atlanta in the late 19th century.

By 1976, a three-cushion sofa at Haverty's cost $488 and a matching chair cost $188.

When the store closed in August 1982, a store manager cited a declining downtown retail market. Then-manager Henry Jones said, "Our business has been falling off to a point that we just can't justify renewing our lease." By that time the store had only 10 employees.

In the early 1980s, home sales slumped and the demand for furniture waned.

There is a newer Havertys furniture store (with a new name, minus the apostrophe) located at 2565 Lifestyle Way off Shallowford Road near Hamilton Place mall. According to the company's website, there are now more than 100 stores in 16 states.

Follow "Remember When, Chattanooga" public group on Facebook.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPcolumnist.

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