Garber’s Shoes


716 Saluda Avenue
Columbia, SC


The son of Russian immigrant Paul Garber (1886-1950) and Sumter native Tillie Morris (1890-1983), Leon Garber (1923-2012) inherited part of his father’s department store chain, Garber’s. Garber’s department stores operated locations in Batesburg, Denmark, Allendale, and Columbia. In 1955, Leon’s brother, Julius Garber (1915-2005), and sister-in-law, Bessie Brenner Garber (1919-1987), bought out his share of the Denmark, Batesburg, and Columbia stores. That year, Leon opened shoe store Garber’s Shoes at 716 Saluda Avenue in Columbia’s historic Five Points commercial district, across the street from the Garber’s store owned by his brother and sister-in-law. Leon’s business venture proved successful, as in 1960 he opened a Garber’s Shoes in nearby Trenholm Plaza. Garber’s Shoes in Five Points closed around 1979.

Main Image: Leon Garber, 1975. Reprinted from The State, August 12, 1975.


Above Image: Garber’s Shoes opening day advertisement. Reprinted from The State, September 9, 1955.


Above Image: Garber’s Shoes in Five Points (sign and storefront partially visible at center), 1959. Courtesy The State Newspaper Photograph Archive, Richland Library, Columbia, S.C.

The Jewish Merchant Project is supported by the generosity of the Henry & Sylvia Yaschik Foundation and the Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation.

JHSSC Office
Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center
96 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843 953 3918