Buffum Family Papers

Finding aid created by Sherman Library and Gardens staff using RecordEXPRESS
Sherman Library and Gardens
614 Dahlia Ave.
Corona del Mar, California 92625
(949) 673-1880

Descriptive Summary

Title: Buffum Family Papers
Dates: 1913-1991
Collection Number: 2006_01
Creator/Collector: Buffum Buffums' (department store)
Extent: 1 document box and 2 flat oversize boxes
Repository: Sherman Library and Gardens
Corona del Mar, California 92625
Abstract: The collection consists of materials related to the business interests and activities of various members of the Buffum family and the Buffums’ Department Store.
Language of Material: English


Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Buffum Family Papers. Sherman Library and Gardens

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to the Sherman Library by Richard Buffum, 2001.

Biography/Administrative History

Brothers Charles Abel Buffum and Edwin Emery Buffum came to Long Beach, California, in 1904 and co-founded The Mercantile Company, which they renamed Buffums’ Department Store in 1912. C.A. Buffum also served as mayor of Long Beach from 1921-1924, and he died in 1936; his brother, E.E. Buffum, died twenty years later. It was under the leadership of C.A. Buffum’s son, Harry Buffum, that the company expanded into Santa Ana with an additional store in 1950, later growing to become a chain of sixteen department stores throughout Southern California. David Jones Ltd., an Australian retailer, acquired Buffums’ in 1974, and due to financial difficulties Buffums’ closed its doors in 1991.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of correspondence, reports, ephemera, photographs and clippings related to the business interests and activities of various members of the Buffum family and the Buffums’ Department Store. A majority of the materials in the collection relate to Harry Buffum, the son of Charles Abel Buffum, who served as president of the company for thirty years. Of note in the collection are a large number of photographs and 35 mm slides depicting various window displays, models, and stores. There is also a sizeable leather-bound scrapbook filled with clippings which span the years 1935-1960.

Indexing Terms

Department stores - California, Southern - History - Sources
Buffum, Charles Abel
Buffums'(department store) - History - Sources
Long Beach (Calif.) - History - 20th century

Additional collection guides

Collection Contents

Box:Folder 1:1

Correspondence 1929-1968

Box:Folder 1:2

Buffum, Harry. “Destiny” [poem] 1913

Box:Folder 1:3

Reports - Annual reports 1964-1965

Box:Folder 1:4

Reports - Buffums’ spring 1954 fashion campaign 1953

Box:Folder 1:5

Reports - 50th anniversary audit report 1954

Box:Folder 1:6

Reports - Rotary Club of Long Beach, Calif. 1955

Box:Folder 1:7

Anniversary card for Harry Buffum n.d.

Box:Folder 1:8

California Retailers Association. Resolution of Appreciation to Harry Buffum n.d.

Box:Folder 1:9

Christmas greetings from Harry Buffum 1957-1965

Box:Folder 1:10

City of Hope. The Torch of Hope Award - Harry Buffum 1961

Box:Folder 1:11

Photograph of Harry Buffum n.d.

Box:Folder 1:12

Photographs - Buffums’ 1953

Box:Folder 1:13

Photographs - Buffums’ - Window displays - 1940s 1940s

Box:Folder 1:14

Photographs - Buffums’ - Window displays - 1950s 1950s

Box:Folder 1:15

Photographs - Buffums’ - Window displays - n.d. n.d.

Box:Folder 1:16

Photographs - Buffums’ - Interior views 1946-195?

Box:Folder 1:17

Photographs - Buffums’ - Interior views of holiday decorations n.d.

Box:Folder 1:18

Photographs - Buffums’ - Exterior views n.d.

Box:Folder 1:19

Photographs - Buffums’ delivery cars n.d.

Box:Folder 1:20

Architectural renderings - Buffums’ 1978

Box:Folder 1:21

Ephemera 1936-1989

Box:Folder 1:22

Buffums’ scrapbook – Part 1 [disbound] 1963-1986

Box:Folder 2:1

Buffums’ scrapbook – Part 2 [disbound] 1985-1989

Box:Folder 2:

Scrapbook 1935-1960

Box:Folder 3:1

Slides (286) 1953-1974

Box 3

Clippings 1928-1991

Box 3

Newspapers and oversize clippings (Long Beach Independent, Long Beach Press, Long Beach Press-Telegram, and the Los Angeles Times) 1917-1991