In December 1890 two of the larger mercantile establishments offered holiday goods and sale prices.
The Pioneer Store used their advertisement to promote their goods, as well as to make a point that their goods were American made with a reference to the the McKinley Bill – the Tariff Act of 1890 that had gone into effect in October, raising the tariff on imported goods.
Merchant Isaac Selling also ran an ad in the same issue offering holiday sale prices on his usual line of merchandise. Sale prices included flannel, cashmere, denim, damask and calico fabric from 25¢ a yard; men’s hats for $1.50; Children’s Wool Hats 25¢; Men’s Fancy Worsted Suits $10 and a Man’s Chinchilla Coat and Vest, in brown or blue, for $7.50.
By 1894 new businesses had begun advertising their Christmas specials.
The Burmeister and Andresen jewelry store, which had begun many years before as C. L. Burmeister’s clock and watch shop, had expanded their stock and the store soon became a favorite destination for holiday shopping. The store remained in business in Oregon City until 1967.
Two other advertisers in December 1894 were also new to the Oregon City Enterprise.
Grocer E. E. Williams was one of the first merchants to advertise goods specifically for Christmas – including candles for the tree.
The Red Front Store also included holiday gifts along with special prices on their general merchandise.
Bellomy & Busch, the Housefurnishers, were one of the first businesses to include an image to draw attention to their holiday advertising in 1895.
An 1897 ad for the Huntley Brothers businesses, which had opened in 1894, offered an expanded line of goods for holiday gift giving.
In 1898 Burmeister & Andresen and Bellomy & Busch expanded their holiday offerings. New in the jewelry store are the Eagle Graphaphone and records and the housefurnishers have added a large line of toys.
As the century ended, advertising for patent medicines, farming equipment and regular merchandise still outnumbered ads for Christmas gifts. Also more ads were appearing for mail-order merchandise including appliances and musical instruments. But more, and bigger, advertisements for Christmas shopping appeared in the Oregon City Enterprise and the Courier-Herald in 1899, including the most heavily illustrated one from I. Selling. Next – The New Century…