Goodman's Farewell Sale?
Bill Hudson | 11/27/09
“It’s just a way to thank our local customers.  You know, you don’t need to go out of town to hit the big holiday sales — we do them here, because we appreciate all that our customers have done for us over the past year.”

Bob Goodman was standing near the sales counter in Pagosa’s oldest operating department store, at the corner of Fourth and Pagosa — “Goodman’s Department Store,” started by Bob’s great grandfather.  Bob is running a storewide sale today through Saturday — 20 percent off everything in the store!

Additionally, Bob and his staff have selected some special items that will be on sale at even higher discounts until the end of December, including Columbia brand men’s shoes, Danner boots, Filson outdoor clothing, Laredo cowboy boots, men’s and women’s Carhartt clothing, and their great selection of horse tack — all at 20 to 50 percent off, through December 30.  Continued...
goodman's department store pagosa springs
All horse tack at Goodman's is on sale through December 30 — at 40 percent off.  Also on sale are Danner boots and Australian dusters, as well as numerous other items.  Visit the Goodman’s website for a full listing of the special items on sale.

goodman's department store pagosa springs

goodman's department store pagosa springs
This may be Bob’s last holiday season sale at the helm of the family business, however.  He put the business on the market last summer and is in negotiations with a possible buyer — though the potential sale may not be final until next year, assuming all goes as planned.

The Goodman’s legacy in Pagosa Springs goes back to the end of the 19th century, to a time when cowboys and Indians rode horseback down the dusty roads.

After selling a grocery store in Durango in 1899, Bob’s great grandfather David Lowenstein purchased a little store about 12 feet wide by 35 feet deep.  He named it “Lowenstein’s Gent’s Furnishings”.

Around this time, a big saw mill in Pagosa was operating, as well as another sawmill in Edith, and the railroads were constantly bringing in new people.  David bought a house that stood where the current middle school now exists, and he and his wife Fannie ran the little store and raised their daughter, Hortense, who turned out to be an adventurous pioneer — she was the first woman to drive her 1915 Jackrabbit over Wolf Creek Pass on a treacherous one-lane road.

Following the death of her father David in 1921, Hortense moved to St. Louis to stay with cousins, while one of David’s employees named Walt Hill ran the store for a while. It was there that she met a dashing young man named Louis Goodman. At the time, she showed no interest in settling down, but Louis still followed her back to Colorado.

“Eventually she became more practical about it, when she realized she couldn’t manage the business by herself,” Bob says. “Finally she said to Louis, ‘I need a manager. I’m single. You’re single. So do we have a deal or not?’ ”

Louis and Hortense went on to get married in 1922, and took over the operation of the family business, later renaming it “Goodman’s.” Louis expanded the store’s line to include “women’s furnishings” as well. Along with women’s attire Goodman’s carried wedding dresses and veils, suits, and wedding rings — all priced at $35 and below.

Dave Goodman, son of Louis and Hortense, was born in 1923. After serving in the military in the Philippines and Japan during World War II, Dave decided to join the family business in 1946. Dave remained true to the family tradition, and worked daily to improve the store and expand the lines offered to their customers. Along with the expansion of the lines Goodman’s already carried, they moved more into the western field. Goodman’s became one of boot maker Tony Lama’s first clients — selling the many varieties of boots they had to offer. They also started to carry a lot of items specifically for their Indian clientele, including Pendleton shawls and blankets.

Dave married local schoolteacher Dorothy Hawks in 1952 — and though Dorothy loved teaching, she left her position and joined her husband to assist with the store. Hortense became known as “Granny Goodman” and worked at Goodman's store for 66 years.

Bob Goodman was Dave and Dorothy’s second son of three children, and came into the family business after his graduation from the University of Northern Colorado in 1977. He formally took over management from Dave and Dorothy, as proprietor of Goodman’s in 1981.

Bob has maintained the same old time feel of Goodman’s while remodeling and modernizing the store, and has to expand the lines of merchandise.

“The store stands on the original site of the first store, which was built immediately after the Fort Lewis barracks were removed,” Bob says. “When we remodeled we tried very hard to keep the feel of the store intact. We even had the tin roof of the original store matched for the addition.”

Now the store is close to being sold to a new owner — someone from outside the family, for the first time in its 109 year history.

In a recent interview with Pagosa Springs SUN reporter Jim McQuiggen, Bob and and his wife Valerie said they felt they’d earned the right to slow down and enjoy the finer things in life.

“After my father retired, he’d spend his winters in Mexico and his summers in Alaska. We’d like to be able to take advantage of that. I’ve never been able to get away in the summer for a fishing trip and I’d love to be able to watch Valerie pull in a 30-pound Silver Salmon in Alaska.”

“We’ve made a conscious decision to change our lifestyle,” Bob told the SUN.

“The Goodmans were quick to point out that times are good for the store and it was their desire to make that lifestyle change that led to their decision,” writes McQuiggen.

“Our decision to sell the store was not predicated on the economy,” Bob said. “We’re having one of the best years we’ve ever had and I attribute that to a town that supports us and does everything they can to keep us going.”

“I want to end everything on an up note.”

Apparently, part of that “up note” is this weekend’s big holiday sale.  Happy shopping!

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