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Description: This tongue shaped stainless steel shoe horn has a bent handle with a hole in the center. It is engraved with “Crosby square, fine shoemakers since 1867” and “Foy-Roe Company, Front Street, Downtown Store, Wilmington N.C.”
Crosby Square shoes were a high-end men’s line of footwear. According to the company, the brand’s heyday was from the 1930s through 1960s.
Foy-Roe & Company was a local department store founded in 1930 by Norwood Leslie Foy (1891 – 1990) and John Henry Roe (1860 – 1946). Foy-Roe & Co. was located at 20 Market Street for the first two years of its existence before moving to 9 N. Front Street until closing in 1989. Recognizing Wilmington’s changing shopping landscape, Foy-Roe & Co. operated a second location in the Hanover Center strip plaza from 1964 to 1972.
Object History: This shoehorn was donated to the Museum by Barbara “Bobbie” Miller Marcroft (1922 – 2003) in the 1990s. Marcroft was born in Akron, Ohio. Bobbie moved to Wilmington in 1942 with her husband, Loren. Bobbie became an active member of St. Paul’s Church where she spent many years teaching Sunday School and writing and directing dramatic productions. Marcroft he worked for many years as a journalist and writer for local television and radio, as well as the newspaper. She was a longtime supporter of Cape Fear Museum.
The shoehorn was manufactured to promote a nationally known American men’s shoe company. The local department store Foy-Roe seems to have added their name to the horn to cross promote their business.
General History: Wilmington’s first department store opened in 1903 and, since that time, the Port City has had as many as 20 stores. Throughout most of the 1900s, Wilmington’s department stores were located downtown. Shopping began to move to the suburbs in the 1960s. The last significant department store left in downtown Wilmington was Friendly Department Store. When it went out of business in 1995 ended more than 90 years of department stores having a continuous presence downtown.