Chaconas

Posted by Ellen

Although George Chaconas advertised "fancy fruits and vegetables" at his grocery store in Washington, D.C., also prominent among his wares are chickens with their feathers and rabbits with their fur.

Way in the background is the Washington Monument. The store was in the area now swallowed up by the government office buildings of Federal Triangle.

By 1915, when this picture was taken, Chaconas had been in the grocery business for more than a quarter century. In addition to the store, which had been in this location for about a decade, he and his family also sold groceries from a truck–the kind of vehicle referred to then as a huckster wagon–that made the rounds of the outlying neighborhoods.

Back in the 1890s, however, when he was first establishing himself in Washington, Chaconas sold his fruits and vegetables from a pushcart. On August 14, 1894, as recorded by the Washington Post, Chaconas and eleven other Greeks and Italians were arrested and fined for lingering too long and obstructing traffic with their pushcarts.