New Diggings in Red Bluff

Often when I am looking for a particular story in an old newspaper, I don’t find what I want, but something else catches my eye. This time it was the Red Bluff Beacon for May 11, 1859. I was looking for an item on Peter Lassen, but instead I cam across this verse promoting Oppenheim’s Dry Good Store, which was moving to “new diggings.”

M. OPPENHEIM has just returned from San Francisco with an extensive and varied stock of Fine and Fancy Dry Goods; probably the largest stock of this description of goods ever brought to this place.

RBB18590608.2.18.3-a1-399wOh Ladies! all attention, pray,
Give ear unto my strain;
And as you walk about so gay,
To call on be but deign.
For though a lady’s toilet is
Composed of things a heap,
You’ll find them all within my store,
Best quality and cheap.

A lady’s dress will oft wear out,
No doubt to her great bother.
But now she need no longer pout,
When cheap she’ll get another.
From hooks and eyes to Eugenie Hoops,
All things I have in store,
So low that all who buy, confess
They ne’er bought like before.

Then come and buy, at prices low,
My goods are fast a-selling;
But buy, or not, the goods I’ll show,
You’ll may be buy, no telling.
But remember that my prices are
But down to suit the times;
And all the ladies wants can now be filled
At Mr. M. Oppenheim’s.

At present my store is next door to Pierce, Church & Co’s. On and after the 20th inst., I will be found next door to Markwitz’s tin shop, on the west side of Main Street. M. OPPENHEIM  Red Bluff, May 11 1859

eugenie

Empress Eugenie in 1860, wearing the fashionable Eugenie hoop skirt. “Everybody buys ’em now.”

Note his mention of Eugenie Hoops, so named because the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, popularized them in Europe. Hoop skirts were becoming fashionable in the mid-1850s and ladies in Red Bluff probably weren’t wearing such things quite yet. But they would want to be en vogue, and they could get what they needed at Mr. Oppenheim’s.

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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