The grocery operated from 1928 until 1942. Yet, memories of the store are fresh in the minds of at least two people, Steve Bancroft and his older sister Carol. Their parents owned the Bancroft Evening Store, and the siblings helped run it from the time they were big enough to look over the counter. Steve, a WWII vet, is 98. His sister, Carol is 101.
I see Steve nearly every day when I go to exercise at the West Valley Y. He’s a retired accountant, former Twin Falls City Councilman, and an old-school Republican who has little use for the antics of the extreme right in today’s party.
Steve remembers that, “We lived in the living quarters which were one big room with a
large round table in the center, a Majestic Coal range in one corner, and opposite was a bathtub with just a curtain around it, and the sink was in the center of the east wall, and the door to the back yard in the southeast corner. Mom had flower pots in the space between the sink and the door. The flower pots were on what were wood orange crates. The flowers were in old red earthen pots. The main type of flowers were Chrysanthemums. I guess it was the orange crates and the red pots and the knobby plants but I have never really liked house plants since. Between the sink and the bathtub there was a door into two bedrooms, one down stairs and one up.”
Before the bedrooms were added, Steve and his brother Kieth slept in a shed behind the store. Then, in 1936 the family bought a house on Mountain View Drive. Even then Chester and Eva Bancroft, the parents, remained attached to Bancroft’s Evening Store. “As my folks felt they could not be away from the store at night, they remained there, and the three kids drove out to the house to sleep,” Steve said. “Back in the morning for breakfast and the rest of the day until about 10:00 PM back to the house to sleep. This was the plan until 1942 when the store was sold, and we all lived in the house on Mountain View Drive.”
Bancroft’s Evening Store was so named because it was open until 10 at night, something not common at that time. It was also open on Sundays. That practice bumped up against the county’s “blue laws” at the time, so the proprietors had to pay an occasional fine for selling beer on a Sunday.