Chain: Pearl’s Department Stores, Inc.
Date Opened: 1915. Store was started by Paul I. Pearl and his brother, Joseph Pearl after they were peddlers in the area. Store had warehouse in back when chain started to expand to supply merchandise to other Pearl’s stores (as well as other retailers via P. I. Pearl & Co.)
Street Address(es) when open (Building name/block) [Current Address]:
Former Store(s) in Location(s):
Later Store(s) in Location(s):
Buildings still exist?: No (#1) Store burned down in 1944. Current Alburg Library sits on land where store was.
Owners, Managers, Employees:
- Paul I. Pearl
- Joseph Pearl
- “Big” Elliot Pearl
- Isador Kropsky, Mgr
- Harry Kropsky, Mgr. (? – 6/30/1936)
- Ellen Darby (Livingston) , bookkeeper
- Geraldine Mitchell (9/22/1936 – ?)
- Irene Favro (9/18/1938 – ?)
- Alden Favro (Brother of Irene)
- Elizabeth Honsinger
- Charles Lambert, c. 1940
- William (Wilfred) Cohen, c. 2/19/1942
- Evelyn Mott, clerk, c.1944
- Arthur Mott, Shipping clerk c. 1939
- H. E. Berry, Mgr (6/14/1948 – ?
- Mrs. Kathleen Bryant
Subsequent Owners if sold:
Articles, Pictures, Ads:
Paul I. Pearl started as a peddler in Vermont getting supplies from his uncle, Aaron Perelman’s Dry Goods store in Burlington, VT (See story here and information on Aaron Perelman’s store here..). Paul brought his brother Joseph into business with him, initially as a peddler, than in opening the store in Alburg.
Pearl Brothers peddlers in Tunbridge. Tunbridge is a town in Orange County, VT about 120 miles SE of Alburg. (Herald and News 01-09-2008 p3)
Pearl’s Brothers store almost complete (Burlington Free Press & Times 10-07-1915 p3) Editor’s note: “New” store implies there was another store before this one, possible the “boat”.
Editor’s note: My understanding is that the store was located in Alburg since it was a station on the Rutland Railroad and would not compete with Paul’s uncle’s store in Burlington. Family lore says the first “store” was on a boat in Lake Champlain.
Pearl’s Alburg – Beatrice Pearl visits brothers , Paul and Joseph (SAM 05-20-1916 p4)
Leona Koenty (future wife of Joe Pearl ) visits Beatrice (sister of Paul Pearl) (SAM 08-19-16 p5)
Paul Ira Pearl from Grand Isle County drafted (The Barre Daily Times 09-15-1917 p1)
Paul Ira Pearl called for physical (BFP&T 10-16-1917 p7)
Laying foundation for large addition (BFP 7-27-1922 p5)
P.I. Paul Certain-Teed Ad – Alburg (BFP April 30, 1923p3)
P. Pearl – Village trustee (BFP 05-08-1925 p11)
P. I. Pearl & Co. vs Hub Department Store (BFP 5-04-1928 p14) JICOhen Note: P. I. Pearl & Co. was an entity which sold merchandise to non-Pearl’s store such as the Hub Department Store. See info on P. I. Pearl & Co. on this site.
Phone service issues (BFP 10-01-1928 p12) part 1
Phone service issues (BFP 10-01-1928 p12) part 2
Enlarging store (BFP 10-12-1929 p7)
P. Pearl – Mason (BFP 04-08-1930 p7)
New glass front (BFP 10-2-1930 p18)
Incorporation filing (BFP 3-16-1931, p2)
Harry Kropsky to Alburg from Winthrop (The Malone Farmer 07-06-1932 p7)
Paul Pearl builds camp (BFP 04-20-1935 p12) JICohenNote: Paul and Birdie Pearl had the camp many years. I remember going to the camp with my parents. He had a big garden, in which he wore a straw hat, and made his own pickles which he gave to the family in large jars!
Elias Cohen (Eli Cohen Cowen?) JICohen Note: I believe this is Eli (Cohen) Cowen, my mother’s brother, who latter managed Pearl’s in Keeseville and Potsdam. (BFP 8-17-1935 p15).
Paul Pearl trip to NYC (BFP 9-12-1935 , p14)
Eli Cohen visits (BFP4-18–1936 , p4)
Harry Kropsky to Potsdam from Alburg (BFP 6-30-1936 p11)
Big Elliot Pearl (BFP 7-15-1936 p7)
Ellen Darby (BFP 9-1-1936, p10)
Geraldine Mitchell (BFP 9-22-1936 ,p16)
PTA Dance in Annex (BFP 7-20-1937, p9)
Ellen Darby, bookkeeper (BFP 9-15-1937 p13) part 1
Ellen Darby, bookkeeper (BFP 9-15-1937 p13) part 2
Irene Favro (BFP 9-18-1938 p5)
Arthur Mott wedding (BFP 10-6-1939, p9)
This is reference to the warehouse office. “Big Elliot” Pearl (BFP 4-10-1940 p16) JICNote: There were two Elliott Pearls associated with Pearl’s. This Elliott , referred to by the family as “Big” Elliott was the son of Joe and Leona Pearl of Swanton. “Little” Elliott Pearl, the son of Paul Pearl, become General Manager of Pearl’s.
Charles Lambert (BFP 7-31-1940, p8)
Vermont Processing Tax Refund (BFP 2-10-1941, p9)
Alden Favro (BFP 6-30-1941)
William Cohen visits St Johnsbury (BFP 2-19-1942 , p10)
Grange Silk and Nylon Drive (BFP 11-20-1942 p5)
Elizabeth Honsinger (BFP 1-2-1943 p3)
PFC. Alden Favro, war wounds (BFP 12-8-1943 p7)
Evelyn Mott mumps (BFP 3-7-1944 p5)
Pearl’s Alburg – Fire (BFP 5-26-1944 p2)
Pearls Alburg Fire (PPR 05-26-1944 p8)
Fire, Kropsky home (BFP 5-29-1944 p8)
Fire destroys Pearl’s Alburg store and warehouse. (BFP 05-30-1944 p9) JICohen Note: Adjusted for inflation, $150,000.00 in 1944 is equal to $2,125,206.90 in 2018.
H. E. Berry becomes manager (BFP 6-14-1948 p3)
PI Pearl judge of parade (BFP 07-09-1954 p7)
Pearl’s Alburg – Mrs. Kathleen Bryant obit SAM 03-29-1985 p12 (part 1) JICohen note: Paul always felt Alburg was his home. He had a camp on Lake Champlain in Alburg for many years after he moved to Mount Vernon.
Pearl’s Alburg – Mrs. Kathleen Bryant obit SAM 03-29-1985 p12 (part 2)