Beatrice Fox Auerbach may have been Jewish, but she was also an exceptionally adept businesswoman and, as such, catered to her mostly-Christian clientèle by turning her store into a virtual wonderland every Christmas season. The children’s department was transformed into Toyland, much to the delight of children all over Connecticut. And, of course, Santa Claus was there, beginning the day after Thanksgiving, so that every little girl and boy could be sure to tell him exactly what they wanted to be waiting under the tree on Christmas morning.
However, the most memorable aspect of Christmas at G. Fox & Co. has to be the store’s marquee, which was decorated complete with lights during almost every holiday season. For several years, the marquee consisted of the Christmas village with accurate replicas of many of Connecticut’s most important historic buildings. Pictured below is the scene of the Connecticut village from the brochure that G. Fox & Co. produced as a guide to the historic buildings on the store’s marquee.
The buildings reproduced on the marquee that year (1959) were:
- The Green Homestead in South Windsor
- The Osbert Burr Loomis House in Windsor
- The Joseph Webb home in Wethersfield
- The Litchfield Congregational Church in Litchfield
- The Noah Webster Home in West Hartford
- The Nathan Hale Homestead in South Coventry
While the Christmas Village was by far the most popular display, there were others as well. During the energy crisis of the early 1970s, the marquee was decorated, but did not have its traditional light display. At other times, festive scenes took the place of the Christmas Village, whose buildings had to be restored or replaced several times due to the destructive forces of the winter weather.