Towson, Now and Then


Friendship is… of those things that give value to survival.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Today I am going to take a trip down memory lane during the 1950s and 1960s  to my native stomping grounds of  Towson, Maryland (in Baltimore County) . It’s the  home of Goucher College  and Towson State College (now known as Towson University) . Johns Hopkins University and Loyola University are  just down the road in Baltimore City.

When I was a young girl, Towson Plaza, was our shopping mecca. Stores like Tuerks (Twerks, as Fanny the stellar character in my memoir called it), Reads Drugstore and The Plaza Florest were just a few of the stores located there. Of course, S.S. Kresges (aka  Kresgeree’s according to Fanny) was the “flagship store.” It anchored all the rest of the stores and really kept the shopping center active with business.

Towson Plaza

Just down the street, within walking distance was Towson Bootery, Stebbins Anderson, Finkelstein’s and Sunny Surplus – my Dad’s favorite store! The last time I went into Sunny’s was in the mid-to-late 1970s when I took my husband-to-be there. He nearly went crazy. I wonder if it’s gone out of business?

In the early nineteen-seventies, during the years I went off to college in Vermont, progress really began to take place.Commercial real estate development changed the entire look and feel of that area of town. Evidently, it’s gone through several renovations and revitalizations since then. Here’s a photo with just one of the crown jewel stores in the “Towson Plaza” area now.

towson plaza now


Although I visit family in Towson now and then, its been quite a while since I have been to the “Towson Plaza” area. I bet I’d have a hard time finding my way around. I’m hoping to return to the area this fall and do a book signing of “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.”

I’ll keep you posted. It would be wonderful to see old school friends, aquaintances and people who have done business with five generations of the Batton building businesses throughout Baltimore County and beyond.  and




4 thoughts on “Towson, Now and Then

  1. I grew up in Towson during the 60’s and 70’s and it was a great small town. My mother still lives in her home in the heart of Towson, my father owned a business right on York Road, and my sister and I attended Immaculate Conception School. A wonderful place to raise a family, a great community and a very safe and fun place for a kid in the 60’s! Thanks for your post

  2. Connie – Thank you for comment. It’s great to connect with other people who know Towson. My best friend from childhood attended Immaculate Conception Church, and I used to go to church with her on holy days after school. (I wasn’t Catholic). Back then you had to have a hat on your head to enter a Catholic church. She used to give me a kleenex to put on my head, and so I wouldnt feel funny, she’d wear one too, instead of her mantilla. Many memories of that era. I’m looking forward to a return to Towson to promote my book. Keep your eye on this blog in the coming weeks for more information about a book signing in the area.

  3. I grew up in Towson and my paper route took me into the heart of this once small town.
    I attended Towson Elementary and went to Immaculate Conception church every Sunday (and yes my mom wore a head cover). Back then (60s 70s) it had a certain quaintness to it with lots of small fun shops like Finklesteins, Little Tavern eatery, Towson movies, Koffmans drug store, Sunnys, Pecoras Italian restaurant, Wilsons Electric, Stebbins hardware and of course Towson Plaza. SS Kresges had a cool little eatery on the top level which us kids just loved. Hammonds music was central downstairs, Hess shoes was big and Triangle sporting goods was a favorite for us boys. Towson is no longer small or quaint for that matter but remnants of it still exist including the old “County Court House” complete with cannon and fountain out front. (P.S. I have no idea where you found that old Towson Plaza photo but it was much appreciated).

  4. Dear G Beck – Oh my gosh – I had forgotten all about Hammond Music store and Hess Shoes and Triangle Sports!! They were some of the longest running stores in Towson Plaza. And of course I loved the hamburgers at Little Tavern – right next to the Movie Theatre. Thank you so much for your email. I am planning a book signing in Towson in October, so stay tuned to All Things Fulfilling. Just found out today that Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is a finalist for the Colorado Independent Book Award (EVVYs) contest in the anthology category. You can follow us on several Facebook pages – either the one under the book title or my personal page under my author name Sue Batton Leonard. Thanks so much for your comment!

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