Holman’s was established in 1891 by Rensselaer Luther Holman when he bought Towles Dry Goods store. The original clothing and dry goods store was on Lighthouse Avenue in the heart of Pacific Grove.
As his business grew, Holman built a new, enlarged store in 1924.
The New Holman Building
Holman's grew to become the largest independently owned and operated department store between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Because of its reputation and large assortment of merchandise, Holman’s received mail orders from around the world.
Holman in the 1920s
Customers sometimes drove hours to shop at Holman's. There was always plenty of parking for the stylish autos.
John Steinbeck lived on the Monterey peninsula for several years and was a frequent customer at Holman’s.
It was his go-to place for writing materials and household items.
In his book Cannery Row, Steinbeck wrote about Holman’s with the story of the flagpole skater.
As a publicity stunt for Holman's, the mystery man roller-skated for 51 hours on a small platform above the building.
When Holman added another floor, his store boasted 46 departments...
...which sold goods supplied from New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Holman's Department Store
The enlarged building included a solarium on the roof overlooking Monterey Bay.
Holman's in the 50s
View of The Holman Building in 1950.
Later, The Holman Building housed an antique mall and retail shops.
The Holman Building is now being renovated, into new luxury residences.