Arthur G. Pollard
This exhibit features a photo of Arthur Gayton Pollard, a recent gift
to the society,
excerpt from recent society correspondence with Mr. Sheppard Bartlett, A. G. Pollard's
... He was quite an exciting man - brought
up in Plaistow, he went to work in a small store in Lowell, Mass. called
Hosfords - started as a clerk, ended up by buying Mr Hosford out and made a
success of the store expanding it considerably - it soon became a department store.
As he got wealthier he opened a business that dealt with remnants from all the
mills in New England, fabrics and carpeting. He called it The Pollard Exchange,
and his market was every major department store in the country - they all came
to Lowell to buy. In 1928, the store burned down - (it) was the biggest fire ever
in Lowell. He reopened immediately in a downtown mill and built what was
considered then as one of the most modern stores in New England. He continued
selling fabrics and remnants nationally and locally.
He used to take customers down
in the "basement" for special low prices, and soon the idea of having a
complete basement operation was conceived - the first basement operation in the
country. And who did he train? Mr WT Grant. Mr Grant left and opened his
first store in Lynn, Mass, and Mr Pollard gave him $800 worth of Fabrics for
his store..as you know Mr. Grant built a fabulous chain of stores, but after
he died management failed and the company was liquidated.
Mr Pollard never forgot
where he came from and he did many things for Plaistow. The ones I know of: in land
for the Pollard School, the famous Pollard pumper in the fire house, the tower
at town hall, and the veterans memorial in the square. Mr Pollard was also very
strong in Masonry and also the First Baptist Church in Lowell. He was the first
President of the Union National Bank.
Mr. Pollard died (June 4, 1930) just after the new store opened in 1929 and
the family ran it until about 1970 when it was sold...