Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rankin's, Santa Ana

In honor of all of those who are still doing their last-minute Christmas shopping, here are a couple photos of Rankin Dry Goods (a.k.a. Rankin's Department Store) around the time of its opening in 1917. The building still stands at 117 W. 4th St. (at Sycamore) in Santa Ana, but the business is long gone.


Patty Boardman said...

Oh, Carol Lesher from Santa Ana told me these tidbits about Rankins Dry Good store.
1. That the women were dressed to the nines and also had to wear white gloves at work! Very classy establishment.
2. That the employees liked their job and fellow workers so much that they used to come early to work during Christmas time just to sing Christmas carols together, off the clock of course!!

Anonymous said...

My great great grandfather was John Herbert Rankin, who started the Rankin store. There are pictures in our albums of employees working without white gloves on, but perhaps at some point in time that could have been true. I know quite a bit about the store and I even have the old newsletters that were sent out on a regular basis. You are correct about the Christmas caroling and the general happiness of the people who worked there. I also have pictures of female employees being live window models and putting on fashion shows. There were employee parties and get-togethers at the store, etc. Rankin Dry Goods Company was a very classy and loved business. My grandfather, Gordon Merrill Bothamley, took over in 1947 and sold it not too long after that. Wow! Thank you. I want to do a wiki page about the store while I have a wealth of written history and family knowledge.

Nora McIntyre said...

Hello Leah Bothamley. I am Nora from First Presbyterian Church of Santa Ana. I've been researching about John H. Rankin because we have a chapel named after Rankin. He was an elder of the church. While reading a couple articles, I found discrepancy between a news article which was written on John Rankin's 93rd birthday and a US NPS form for making the Rankin buildig a national historic place. My question is .. did Mr. Herbert Rankin pass away before Mr. John Rankin? Or perhaps they both pass away in 1947? One article reads Mr. Herbert Rankin ran the store until 1947 and the other article reads Mr. Herbert Rankin passed away before Mr. John Rankin's 93rd birthday. I was wondering if both are true statements. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hello Leah,
I work for the company that has leased the third floor of this building, we are all very curious about the department store and the history of the building. We all would like any further details you could provide, our email is

Anonymous said...

I have a Milward English needle packet with the sticker "Rankin's Santa Ana, .10" I am 72 and remember adults talking about Rankins in high regards when I was a child. Both my grandmother and aunt (Dunlaps) were sewers and lived in Santa Ana so probably purchased these pre WWII.Emily