Harris Workingman’s Store part 2

I’m still working on the Conestoga series that I promised in the last post so look forward to more on that soon.

I appreciate comments that readers make on my posts so it was great to hear from Bill Perry a few weeks ago regarding an old post about the Harris Workingman’s store from 11 (!) years ago:

Harris Workingman’s stores were a chain of many (don’t know how many) started by the Harris family of Pittsburgh. A Harris daughter’s husband owned the Carnegie, PA store. They lived next door to me in Carnegie. Great people! I called them Aunt Sadie and Uncle Harry. Got my first Levi’s there. Most of the steel workers and railroaders shopped there, on West Main Street across from the Carnegie National Bank (later the Mellon Bank).

– Bill Perry

Workingman’s stores were popular in the last century before megastores like Walmart existed. The stores specialized in items that blue-collar workers would need such as overalls, work shirts, work boots, and gloves. Some even sold surplus goods (much like an Army Navy store) and others even offered Tuxedo rentals. There still are a few left. Here is a link to the About page of a Workingman’s store in Marietta Ohio.

As Bill mentioned above, the Harris family owned a chain of Workingman’s stores in the Pittsburgh area. I know of at least four in the Pittsburgh area – Hazelwood, Canonsburg, Carnegie and Monongahela. I couldn’t find any photographs of the Monongahela storefront, but here is one of the Hazelwood Store that I found at the University of Pittsburg’s Historic Pittsburgh site. (The photo is very large so I’ve included just a few small portions below.)

Workingman’s Store, Homewood Pa., 1937.
Dress shirts, ties, bathing suits, caps, hats and shoes were sold.

The only photo I can find related to the Monongahela Harris Workingman’s store was the one I took during the Voccelli Pizza fire on Main Street Monongahela back in 2009:

Harris Workingman’s Store sign, taken during the Voccelli Pizza fire on Main St. Monongahela, September 2009

I have only vague memories of the Monongahela store. I think it closed sometime in the 1970s, but I’m not sure. Some of you may remember shopping there. Why not leave me a comment and tell us what you remember about it, I’m sure the Lost Monongahela community would love to know!

5 thoughts on “Harris Workingman’s Store part 2

Add yours

  1. Hi Dan,
    My parents grew up Monongahela. Born in 1934 and 35. My father is buried there. I am one of their seven daughters. Five of us were born in Williamsport. My mom is a healthy 85 and lives in Virginia. In the few times we are able to go back and visit the cemetery, we always enjoy passing by her old house, where her dad had a bottling company. Does anyone remember Serky’s?
    Keep the emails and pictures coming.
    Happy Holidays!
    Jennifer Plesher


  2. I remember Harris”s Workingmans store. My Dad would go there to get work clothes. I remember my parents talking about Sperky”s pop. I have a couple of bottles from it.


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