Milepost #916

March 28, 2019

By Bill Pumford, Image from Bill Bronstrup Collection

TITLE: CRESTLINE FOOD MARKET: This week’s image is a photo of the Crestline Food Market from the early 1950’s. Built in the late 1930’s it was located in Top Town on Crest Forest Drive where Hilltop Liquor Market stands today. The owner and co-operator of the market was John N. Colwell. The other operator was Carl W. Jensen. Mr. Jensen’s younger brother, Einer, started Jensen’s Market in Blue Jay in 1940. In the 1940’s Crestline Food Market advertised six complete departments: Groceries, Meats, Delicatessen, Bakery, Vegetables and Notions. The market was one of the largest on the mountain. John Colwell was President of the local Crestline Trail Riders Club and Carl Jensen was first vice-president of the Crestline Lions Club. In July of 1951 Mr. Colwell offered the Crestline Food Market for sale. The advertisement in the Los Angeles Times boasted annual sales of $140,000 with inventory of $12,000. The store was sold to Clarence Bishop Applegate. After the sale John Colwell left California and Carl Jensen went on to establish and manage a string of markets in the Inland Empire including one in Palm Desert. Bishop Applegate continued the fine tradition of the Crestline Food Market in serving the locals and out-of-town visitors. The advertisements for the market featured one change – substituting Beer and Wine for Notions. In early 1960 the Crestline Food Market was acquired by a man named Smithfield who renamed the market Smithfield Market. In 1968 the Penny Arcade located next to the market was destroyed in a fire. The next year Mr. Smithfield built an addition to his market where the Penny Arcade had once stood. That building stands empty today although in recent years it housed a very popular donut shop.

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