For over a century, before Allentown was a hole charging your credit card for tickets to a yet to be built hockey arena, it was a holiday destination. Shoppers from near and far would flock to Hamilton Street, where merchants fulfilled their every expectation. This post chronicles the golden era of that street. By the early 1950's, our major department stores were operated by the second generation owners. Max Hess Jr. become a merchandizer of national reputation. His store windows presented displays as sophisticated as any major city. One holiday novelty exists to this day, Pip The Mouse, and can be seen at Zion Church. The fourth floor toy department had eye popping, life sized, automated stuffed animals from Germany. Needless to say, Santa Claus was on duty at Hess's. Families had their favorite department store. While my mother patronized Hess's, others were loyal to Leh's and Zollingers. Although I'm sure that their Christmas displays were also top notch, I have no personal memories. While we now charge citizens to drive through a park with lights, downtowns used to compete with attractive displays. Allentown was famous for the Bell Lights on our iconic light posts, which would rock back and forth, as if ringing. Although times have changed, this blog will remind those few who remember.