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L. S. Ayres scrapbook

 Collection — Volume: V115
Identifier: V115

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a scrapbook featuring newspaper clippings, press releases, and photographs from 1937 to 1938 regarding the introduction of Colonial Williamsburg Crafts to the downtown Indianapolis L.S. Ayres department store. The collection features photographs of the L.S. Ayres showrooms as well as photographs of a model home from the 17th annual Indianapolis Home Show furnished by L.S. Ayres with pieces from Colonial Williamsburg Crafts.


  • 1937-1938


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

In the 1930s, companies unaffiliated with Colonial Williamsburg began producing furnishings based on designs found at the historical site. In order to maintain their hold on the retail market, Colonial Williamsburg created Williamsburg Craftsmen, Inc. and allowed select department stores to sell the period replicas created by their subsidiary corporation. L.S. Ayres was one of the department stores chosen and, in 1937, opened a Shop of Authentic Colonial Williamsburg Crafts. This shop consisted of two display rooms on the sixth floor of the Indianapolis flagship store: the Daphne Room and the Public Parlor based on rooms of the same name in the Raleigh Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg.

Colonial Williamsburg is an educational institution, living-history museum, and historical landmark located in Williamsburg, Virginia. Today's Colonial Williamsburg is centered on the restored and reconstructed buildings of 18th century Williamsburg when was it the capitol of the colony of Virginia. Its restoration began in the 1920s and was spearheaded by Reverend William Archer Rutherfoord Goodwin and John D. Rockefeller Jr. Significant buildings in the historic site include the reconstructed Governor's Palace and Raleigh Tavern as well as several original structures such as the Courthouse, the George Wythe House, and the Peyton Randolph House.

L.S. Ayres and Company was an Indiana department store founded by Lyman S. Ayres in 1872 and dissolved in 2006. Its flagship store in downtown Indianapolis opened in 1905. L.S. Ayres carried a full line of quality merchandise including home goods, kitchen wares, and toys but it was most known for its women's fashions, Tea Room, and seasonal displays. Beginning in the 1950s, L.S. Ayres followed their customer base as they left the city for the suburbs by opening stores in Indianapolis neighborhoods and additional cities throughout the state. In 1961, L.S. Ayres opened its first Ayr-Way, a discount version of the traditional department store. In 1986, several branches of Ayres were closed when The May Company acquired the department store. In 2006, L.S. Ayres and Company was formally dissolved when it was acquired by Macy's Midwest division.


Item in the collection.

Greenspan, Anders. "Colonial Williamsburg." Encyclopedia Virginia. Accessed October 6, 2017.

"The history of Colonial Williamsburg." The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Accessed October 6, 2017.

Turchi, Kenneth L. L. S. Ayres and Company: The Store at the Crossroads of America. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 2012.

Watkins, Charles Alan. "The Tea Table’s Tale: Authenticity and Colonial Williamsburg’s Early Furniture Reproduction Program." West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture 21, no. 2 (2014): 155-91.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 custom box)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of a single item.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a records transfer from the Indiana Division on 2017/08/02.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed and EAD finding aid created 2017/10/06 by Kristin Lee. EAD finding aid revised 2024/04/04 by Brittany Kropf.
L. S. Ayres scrapbook
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.