Objects of the Month

June 2012: District Grocery Stores sign, 1920s

District Grocery Stores sign, 1920s
  • Object No.: 1999.36.1
  • Donor: Milton Weinstein
  • Description:

    Two-part green metal sign (28" x 116") with orange letters reading District Grocery Stores, 1920s

This sign hung over Harry's Market in Mt. Rainier, Maryland for more than 70 years. Leah and Harry Weinstein bought the market in 1924 and became members of District Grocery Store (DGS), a cooperative. DGS was formed in 1921 by a dozen Jewish grocers, providing cooperative buying power and a means to fight discrimination from non-Jewish wholesalers.

Through out its 72 years, Harry's Market supplied the neighborhood with groceries, beer and wine, diapers, school supplies, candy and other small necessitates. When Harry and Leah got older and could no longer run the store, daughters Vivian and Ruth (seen here), took over until closing in 1996.

UPDATE: The legacy of DGS lives on in DGS Delicatessen, a "next generation delicatessen" in Dupont Circle owned by descendants of DGS grocers.

Do you have material documenting a local Jewish-owned business that you'd like to donate to the Jewish Historical Society's collection? Please contact us at info@jhsgw.org or (202) 789-0900.