Barnett “Ben” Goldstein often said he and friend Harry Lubin were born in “the old world” in Vilna, Poland.
“We were playmates and fostered the same ideals. We looked together to America for our chance,” Goldstein said in 1938.
The two set out for the New World, and after stops in London, New York, Seattle and Tacoma, they decided to pool their money, become farmers and homestead in Idaho. But they only got as far as Spokane and soon opened a retail business called New York Outfitters in 1909.
Their most enduring venture was Lubin’s women’s apparel shop, opened in 1916, that grew to three stories and well more than 10,000 square feet of retail space at Post Street and Riverside Avenue, where it stayed for more than 50 years. Despite two fires, the business was rebuilt twice.
Harry Lubin died unexpectedly in 1938 at age 51. Goldstein married Lubin’s widow, Adeline, in 1939. He continued the Lubin/Goldstein business group, with the help of other family members. Their businesses included the Wonder Shop department store, the Roosevelt Apartments and other real estate, and part-ownership in the Golden Age Brewery.
Ben Goldstein died in 1975. Lubin’s store passed out of the family in 1986, bought by 40-year employee Mary Jeffers. The store closed in 1993. After Lubin died, Goldstein said his boyhood friend was closer than a brother.
“Harry was one of the finest and most charitable men, in and outside his business house, I ever knew, and his place can never be taken,” Goldstein said.
– Jesse Tinsley
Dec. 12, 1928: In a view taken from the corner of Riverside Avenue and Post Street, Christmas decorations adorn Riverside. On the left is Lubin’s women’s apparel store.
Present day: The northeast corner of Riverside and Post, at left, is now home to a Global Credit Union branch.