The Coffin Family & Christmas Shopping

With Thanksgiving behind us many have already began shopping for Christmas. Starting so early is nothing new. Citizens of Yakima have been shopping for Christmas just days after Thanksgiving for over a century.

In 1905 Thanksgiving was celebrated on Thursday, November 23rd. Six days afterwards businesses in Yakima were already advertising for Christmas sales in the Yakima Herald. The historic Coffin Brothers Store was one of them.

Coffin Brother’s store was owned by the Coffin family. The Coffins were well known for their cattle and other adventures throughout the region. They were also a very well-known business family that owned several stores in the Pacific Northwest. Although Central Washington was their main source of business, the family once had a store in the Seattle area to accommodate those traveling to and from Alaska during the gold rush. Over time their Seattle store closed as did a few others and they focused on their store business in Yakima.

In 1905 the Coffin Brother store in Yakima placed an advertisement in the Yakima Herald announcing a Christmas sale in every department of their store. They also announced that those spending over a hundred dollars at the store would have their names placed in a drawing for gold to be given away at Christmas.

Photo № 1 was taken in 1899 at H. Stanley Coffin’s home on South Naches Avenue. Left to right: Dr. Henry Coffin; Arthur W. Coffin; Lester F. Coffin; a two-year-old boy, H. Stanley Coffin, and his father H. Stanley Coffin, Sr. Robin Rankin-Coffin, 1899. Photo courtesy of the Yakima Valley Museum & the Yakima Library Memory Search Website.

Photo № 2 is of the exterior of the Coffin Brothers Department Store at 301–303 East Yakima Avenue in 1910. John Thompson. Photo Courtesy of the Yakima Valley Museum & Yakima Library Memory Search Website.

Photo № 3 is a Coffin Brother Store advertisement from the November 29th, 1905 Yakima Herald Republic, Newspapers.com.

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