The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 24, 2013

Purse, mirror hint at Danville’s past

When I shop at some of the local antique stores in Danville, I’m always on the lookout for items that originated in Danville, primarily spice tins from the Grab-It-Here stores or from the Payton-Palmer or Paxton grocery distributors that used to have warehouses in the city.

Once in a while, I’ll find something interesting from Danville that’s not a spice tin. Just recently at Sweet Repeats on North Street I found one such treasure: A black patent leather purse circa 1950s or 1960s.

The black patent leather was smudged with fingerprints and the dainty gold chain handle was broken, but I picked up the purse anyway and peeked inside. Lo and behold, it had a label that read: Berkowitz, Danville, Ill. This, indeed, was a find!

I remembered first learning about Berkowitz Luggage and Music on North Vermilion Street when I last wrote my Nostalgic Nuggets column several years ago.

It was the late Anna Owens, who died just last year, who brought the longtime luggage shop to my attention. In a Nostalgic Nuggets column that ran on March 8, 2007, Owens wondered if anyone remembered Berkowitz Luggage and Music Store on the east side of North Vermilion Street.

“I worked there when I was in high school,” she said at the time. “Not only did they have fine luggage, they also had expensive purses and billfolds.”

The late Joe Berkowitz’s family arrived in Danville in 1927 and opened the family business, Berkowitz Luggage.

Joe eventually would run the family store and added pianos, organs and keyboards in 1962, making the store Berkowitz Luggage and Music. He ran the store full-time from 1949 until 1986. Joe Berkowitz died in 2008.

With a little window cleaner, the black patent leather shines like new again and the gold chain handle has been repaired. I’m so glad to be the new owner of this piece of Danville history.

Text Only
Local News
  • Police, Fire Reports

    April 16, 2014

  • Hoopeston council hears water project update

    Mike Streff, Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC, updated city council members Tuesday on the continuing progress of the ground and elevated water storage tank project.

    April 16, 2014

  • Trojans get past Ramblers

    STAFF REPORT ATTICA, Ind. -- Regan Foster hit a home run and drove in three runs as the Covington softball team defeated Attica 8-5 on Tuesday in Wabash River Conference action. Andi Taylor had three hi

    April 16, 2014

  • Mayor looks for fire committee members by Labor Day DANVILLE - Now with budget discussions done for the time being, Mayor Scott Eisenhauer is looking for people to serve on a committee to analyze the fire division and its future. He'd like recommendations from the committee to the city council by Labo

    April 16, 2014

  • Salary talks go on at meeting DANVILLE -- Few members of the Vermilion County Board came out strongly for or against the issue of salaries for county offices and positions. Members of the Vermilion County Board discussed the issue of salary increases for offices up for election i

    April 16, 2014

  • Hoopeston group discusses economic development

    Economic growth was on the agenda Monday night in Hoopeston as about 50 people gathered at St. Anthony's Parish Hall to discuss an economic development strategy for the city.

    April 15, 2014

  • Covington Middle School students win at Purdue Science Fair

    Eighth-grader A.J. Kline and seventh-graders Shiley Claypool and Diana Shelby told school board members about their science fair projects Monday night. They competed at the Lafayette Regional Science and Engineering Fair at Purdue University last month.

    April 15, 2014

  • Oakwood sells its water and sewer systems

    Village trustees are faced with a responsibility many small towns would love to have — what to do with $2 million in cash.

    April 15, 2014

  • SpaceX delays station delivery launch CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A space station cargo ship will remain Earthbound for a while longer. With less than two hours remaining, the Space X company called off Monday's planned launch from Cape Canaveral. A new launch date was not set; the next atte

    April 15, 2014

  • Banquet to honor Shockey

    April 15, 2014

AP Video
Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America Applicants Vying for 'World's Toughest Job' Get Heartwarming Surprise Awkward: Crist catches Lt. Gov. insulting him on camera NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse US Airways Tweets Graphic Photo of Nude Woman Behind the scenes of the Marathon anniversary photo shoot American Airlines Responds After Girl Tweets Alleged Terror Threat 'Joke' Charlie White's "Dancing" Mistake Olympic Great & Baltimore Native Michael Phelps Ends Retirement; Eyes Rio
Must Read