Paddington News

The 2014 Store Events Retailer Excellence Award!

Did you know that, in 2014, Paddington Station received an award at the 63rd annual Retailer Excellence Award gala in New York City?

This gala honors the retailers, manufacturers’ representatives, and vendors in the gift and home industry for their achievements. Pam, Kelly, and Nick were present to receive the Store Events REA (Retailer Excellence Award), honoring their year-long celebration of the store’s 40th birthday.

This celebration was kicked off by free monthly children’s events in collaboration with other local businesses, as well as three larger store celebrations. A fun theme was chosen for each event, such as “Talk Like a Pirate Day” and “The Starwalkers Presents May the 4th Be With You.” Our partner businesses, TreeHouse Books, Northwest Nature Store, Zoey’s Cafe and others, were asked to engage the public with a simple craft, game, or demonstration that worked into the event’s theme and everyone was encouraged to dress according to the theme!

The first of the store’s three big 40th anniversary celebrations began with Paddington Station’s participation in Ashland’s 4th of July parade, which included forty current and past employees, a baton twirler, Uncle Sam, Rockette-style dancers, an umbrella twirling drill team, musicians, and a life-size Paddington Bear on a float.

A week later, the store held its second celebration: a block party behind the store, complete with popcorn and hot dogs, craft tables, carnival games, a local big-band jazz group, and a photo op with Paddington Bear.

The third celebration was Our Annual Holiday Open House. Open House looked different ten years ago! Back then, it was a one-day party with sales representatives, food samples, door prizes, music every hour ON TOP of everything else we do today.

Pam Hammond credits the success of these events to “a perfect storm of enthusiasm among our staff and loyal customers, who treasure their small-town emporium!”


The Dodge Family

It’s Throwback Thursday and we have a love story to share with you!

This picture (Margaret Dodge, the previous owner of the Dodge Building, on the left and Paddington owner, Judy Patterson, on the right) was printed in The Ashland Daily Tidings for a story that ran on Saturday, June 19th, 1976. It’s an article about the Dodge family who constructed the building for their furniture store in 1904.

The story shared the following anecdote:

“When Mrs. [Margaret] Dodge first came to Ashland, she was a young widow and a schoolteacher. She was also a frequent visitor in the home of Will Dodge and his first wife.

Shortly after Will’s wife died, she returned to her native New York state to go to school. Will told [his brother] Lewis he wanted some time off from the store, got on the train, went to New York, and persuaded her to return to Ashland.

Margaret said, “He was a very dignified man, and all those times I visited him and his first wife in his home, he was always Mr. Dodge to me. But he was a very warm and generous man, and we had a wonderful life together until he died 12 years ago.”

A few days after the story was published, Mrs. Dodge wrote a letter to the editor:

“Regarding the story in the Saturday Tidings about the Dodge Building, I should like to correct several items and impressions, if I may.
The first Mrs. Dodge, Ina, was my dearest friend and I was in the Dodge home often, but it was NOT “a short time after her death” that Mr. Dodge came to New York to see me. I was there getting an advanced degree and had plans to remain in New York.

He came back late in the year to urge me to come back for the summer teaching at the Normal School [now Southern Oregon University] so that we could get better acquainted. I did come back and, as stated, he did “take much time from the business” and at the end of the summer we were married.

Since everyone loves a love story, I will say that when he urged marriage he said, “I have had twenty-five perfect years and do not see why I can’t have more of them.” When he passed away in ’63, we had been married [for] twenty-eight years and he counted them as perfect ones also.”

Mother’s Day Past

Paddington Station has been a family affair since its inception in 1973 and we are proud to have continued that tradition for the past fifty years! For this Throwback Thursday post (and in honor of the holiday coming up this weekend!) we are sharing this adorable photo from the Ashland Fourth of July parade in 1998. Pictured here are Pam (Owner), eleven-year-old Kelly (Co-Owner and Product Manager), and four-year-old Nick (Receiving and Operations Manager).

Kelly shared the following with us: “Working with your mom is like working with your best friend, and we definitely fight like it sometimes! But we’ve built something really wonderful and I consider myself so lucky that I get to be with my mom with our desks ten feet apart. I love that we get to see each other every day and there’s always going to be someone with sound advice to bounce things off of. It’s a really special and dynamic community because family means so much at Paddington.”

We’d like to wish Pam and every mom out there a very Happy Mother’s Day!

Paddington Enters the Registry

If you’ve been following along with our stories about the history of our building, you’ll know that J.P. Dodge was the original owner and a well-known businessman in Ashland in the early 1900s.

Did you know that the application for the building’s admittance into the National Register of Historic Places was initially turned down by the Southern Oregon Historical Society?

In this letter, dated January 15th, 1979, the Historical Society cites reasons that they cannot accept Ms. Sundin’s application as follows:

“The consensus of our Committee was that J.P. Dodge was a prominent figure in Ashland‘s history and that his memory should be preserved. However, his furniture building was only one of Mr. Dodge’s many varied business enterprises. Combined with the fact that the exterior of the façade has been corrupted to a great extent (for example: the plastering over of the brick work, removal of brick details, and signage) the committee has decided unanimously to deny your request for a Historic Marker at this time.”

The committee then offers the following suggestion: “It is our hope that your building, along with many others in Ashland commercial district, could be restored to a more original design.”

Ms. Sundin eventually got her wish and the building, along with several other businesses downtown, was entered into the registry in the 1990s!

Throwback to 1904

Today we are excited to share some of the original 1904 documents from the purchase of the building that now houses Paddington Station!

The first photo (upper-righthand corner) is the front page of the warranty deed, which was signed on August 15th, 1904.

The second photo (bottom left) is of a written contract dated August 18th, 1904 that reads: “It is hereby mutually agreed by and between J.P. Dodge and C. H. Veghtz, Owner and Contractor, respectively, that in consideration of certain work performed by the latter upon a new building for the Owner, that the Contractor is to be paid by the Owner, real estate property, and all buildings thereon, for a stated cash value of sixteen hundred and fifty dollars ($1650.00) Said property is located on the West side of Morton Street, North of the Boulevard, and designated as Lots #21, 22, 23, and 24, Hunsacker Addition to the City of Ashland. Said Property to be deeded by the Owner to the Contractor upon the completion of a certain building contract, and to be considered as the final payment of said contract. Said contract being identified by the signatures of the partner hereto.”

The top right picture is of a check dated June 10th, 1904 for $20.00, “payment for 40 feet frontage of Let near opera house…” referencing the Ganiard Opera House that used to be on the corner of E. Main and N. Pioneer Street!

The final photo is one of the pages of the deed that describes the property as it existed in the early stages of the building.

We are so fascinated with all of the wonderful history of our building and hope you enjoy these peeks into life in Ashland over 100 years ago!

4th of July Memories

Those couple of warm days at the beginning of this week got us excited for summertime in Ashland! Let’s close our eyes and imagine it here…

For this Throwback Thursday, we’re pulling out Fourth of July parade photos not only from our personal archives, but also older photos from pre-Paddington days of yore!

In 1976, Judy Patterson (the original owner of Paddington Station) had matching stars and stripes pants made for her staff to wear in the bicentennial parade! These pants made their debut at the store for a whole month preceding the parade and can be seen here making their way down Main Street! Would you believe that 52 years later, a pair of these pants found a new life, with Judy’s granddaughter?! Paddington Bear also made an appearance wearing a festive hat.

The fourth photo depicts another Fourth of July parade, decades earlier. In it, we can see the Dodge building (that is now Paddington Station with its original awning) and two way traffic on East Main Street! We found this photo in the archives at the library but there isn’t a date listed, so we’d love some help figuring it out using clues from the automobiles and stores that you see. Anybody have any ideas?

The last picture takes us back to a Fourth of July celebration that took place in 1898. This was clearly an advertisement for the city of Ashland, which was, apparently at the time, marketed as “Noted for Lady Equestrians” with a population of 5,000 residents!

Day 1

It’s Throwback Thursday and we’re going all the way back to Day 1 of our beloved store!

On July 2nd, 1973, Judy Patterson and one other employee opened a business at 268 E. Main (which now houses the Music Coop!) She chose to call her store Paddington Station because it had an English feel without being Shakespearean. The original store was small and the building was rented. When the store originally opened, people would ask, “Will you stay open all winter?” as most stores did not.

These pictures show the exterior and interior of the store as well as the original owner, Judy (pictured on the right). It was only in this building for two years before they needed to move to a larger location, the space we all know and love today!