Then and now: What people say

Buttner’s, a department store on Main Street, in the 1970s.
Buttner’s, a department store on Main Street, in the 1970s.
Wesley Ennis

Then and now: What people say about Plymouth’s downtown

“Downtown used to be one-stop shopping. There were clothes, shoes, office supplies, a hardware store, and an IGA grocery store. Now, I suppose I could go downtown for lunch.” (Mikki Chaffee, longtime real estate broker)

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

“The ‘70s were a time when things started lagging in downtown, with the Cape Cod Mall and Hanover Mall already dragging people away. Now, the bedrock of community places is gone. It’s restaurants and pawn shops, and that’s about it.” (Local historian James Baker)

“The downtown was thriving, with Puritan’s, Buttner’s, Woolworth’s, a theater, and no Independence Mall. It was a small town downtown where you could go for everything. Now it’s niche marketing, with the focus on tourists rather than residents. It’s different but almost as thriving.” (Paula Fisher, marketing director for Plymouth County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau)

“In the ‘70s, when you’d go downtown at Christmas, you’d see everybody. I was just a teenager and thought it would be there forever. Now, when I go through Plymouth center, I see the ghosts, not only of the stores but of the people. They’re all gone, but the buildings are the same.” (Bernie Sampson, longtime resident)

. . . about Pilgrim’s Progress Clothing

“The store was fun to shop in. They had high-end clothing that was a lot more in fashion than Buttner’s. Working women liked it.” (Mikki Chaffee, longtime real estate broker)

“Not everyone can afford it, but it’s about quality of clothing. It brings residents to downtown, and it’s pleasing for tourists. I marvel at the fact it’s still there almost 40 years later and doing quite well.” (Paula Fisher, marketing director for Plymouth County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau)

“It’s one of the surviving quality stores in downtown, one that has something different to offer.” (Local historian James Baker)