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THEN- 360 Main St., Longmont (photo courtesy Longmont Museum)

The building at 360 Main was built in 1883

By Lisa Truesdale

Samuel Williams took care to order only the finest merchandise for his dry goods store at 360 Main St. In fact, the Sept. 22, 1906, issue of Dry Goods Reporter reveals that Williams ordered four barrels of “Assorted Initial Tumblers” from American Pure Food Co. These crystal glasses, etched with floral designs and monogrammed initials, were sold to “only one firm in a town” to ensure exclusivity.

NOW – 360 Main St. in Longmont (photo by Lisa Truesdale)

Little did Williams know that more than 100 years later, his building would be home to another store selling one-of-kind crystal merchandise: Crystal Joys, a gift store featuring rocks and gemstones plus jewelry, home décor and decorative art pieces made by members of the developmentally disabled community. (Crystal Joys is part of Samples Supports, an agency that offers opportunities to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities; the group also owns Samples World Bistro, two doors to the north, and two other Crystal Joys locations.)

According to city records, the building at 360 Main was built in 1883, possibly in conjunction with 356 Main, the building to the south. The first floors of these structures were divided only by a brick wall, but the second floors were joined and served as a rooming house throughout the 1890s. The first floor of 360 housed Samuel Williams Dry Goods until about 1913, then Toole Stores, Grass Variety Store, Meyer’s Women’s Furnishings, Jos. Weisberg Dry Goods, Bob’s Kart & Cycle Sales, Bob’s Toy Chest, and Eagle’s Nest Hobbies.

Crystal Joys opened in 2014 after completing some renovations, including painting the original stamped-tin ceiling in their signature dark-purple color. The back of the store houses Samples Supports’ day program; you can still see the retro windowed “skybox” office along the back wall, where merchants could look out upon their store and customers.