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Woolworth’s: Remembering Haverhill’s Shopping District

Woolworth exterior
Exterior view of the Woolworth building on Merrimack Street in Haverhill, Massachusetts, by Michel vanRavestyn, Foto Factory


There was a time when, across America, going downtown to shop was the norm. Streets were lined with pharmacies, markets, department stores, and five and dimes.

Woolworth stools

Haverhill, Massachusetts, was no exception. Once known for its bustling shopping district, Haverhill boasted a plethora of department stores and five and dimes, including an F.W. Woolworth’s built in the iconic Woolworth style: yellow brick featuring a red banner and gold letters. 

As in many communities, urban renewal, shopping malls, mega super stores, and the internet brought an end to an era, leading the way for the decline and disappearance of Haverhill’s downtown shopping district and the closure of F.W. Woolworth’s.

Woolworth lunch counter

Historic New England partnered with the Buttonwoods Museum, Haverhill Community Television, and Haverhill Public Library to preserve memories, stories, and images of Woolworth's and other downtown shops now long gone in the film Woolworth’s: Remembering Haverhill’s Shopping District.

The film features oral-history interviews with past and current residents of Haverhill who shopped at the Woolworth five and dime and remember a vibrant shopping district in the center of town.

Watch the film:

Buttonwoods Museum

Haverhill Community Media

Haverhill Public Library, Special Collections

Woolworth’s: Remembering Haverhill’s Shopping District