Passport To History - Blind George's Newsstand - Grants Pass

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Harris & Taylor

Passport To History - Blind George's Newsstand - Grants Pass

Blind George's Newsstand

Blind George's NewsstandThe second stop on filling out our Josephine County Historical Society Passport To History was Blind George's Newsstand.

Blind George's is THE place to go in Grants Pass for popcorn!  You can pick up lottery tickets, caramel corn, an ice cream cone or snacks as well.  They have the best selection of magazines and newspapers in Grants Pass.  Blind George's is also a great place to stop and have a hot dog and soda for lunch.













Blind George's Newsstand

Blind George's was established in 1922 by George Spencer.  He had been a gold miner and logger before he had paralysis of the optic nerve.  So, he opened his newsstand with about $40 worth of inventory. 

Blind George's Newsstand

In 1946, George's guide dog Effie was one of the first seeing eye dogs in southern Oregon.  Effie was accidentally shot in 1955 and became crippled.  George got a new dog he named Pebbles, and he and Effie trained Pebbles in just 10 days.

Blind George's Newsstand

George Spencer died in 1968 and left the newsstand to his long-time employee Thelma Booth and her husband.  They later sold the newsstand to their son Dale, who ran the store until 2002 when he sold it to Diann Gilbertson.


Blind George's Newsstand
Blind George's original newsstand was located at 328 SW 6th Street and in 1960 George moved across the street to 117 SW "G" Street.  This is where Blind George's is currently located.

Blind George's Newsstand

The aroma of freshly popped corn and real butter makes it impossible to walk by Blind George's without stopping for a popcorn. 

Blind George's Newsstand

With its' history and longevity, it's easy to see why the Josephine County Historical Society included Blind George's Newsstand in its' Passport To History program.

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Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

What a wonderful story, Gary!  If I ever get back to Grant's Pass, I will definitely seek out Blind George's Newstand for some popcorn.

May 14, 2010 06:39 PM #1
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Gary, you've really made Blind George's come alive for all of us!  Love the photos and the story.

May 15, 2010 04:32 AM #2
Gary Swanson
Century 21 Harris & Taylor - Grants Pass, OR

Thanks Maria.  I'll make sure to eat a bag of popcorn for you next time I stop at Blind George's.

Thanks for commenting Patricia.  My wife and I really love Grants Pass, so it's easy to find neat stuff to do here.

May 15, 2010 04:38 PM #3
. 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC
What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779


I so enjoyed this visit and want to thank you for this post. I have actually stopped at the store back in 1988 (as I recall)...and so it was especially interesting to visit again.

May 16, 2010 02:06 AM #4
Kathryn Acciari
Cameron Real Estate Group - Shrewsbury, MA
RSPS, SRS, REALTOR(R) Sturbridge-Shrewsbury MA

Gary, what a fantastic legacy behind the story of Blind George's.  I enjoyed your post.

May 16, 2010 06:47 AM #5
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Thanks to Pat Kennedy for pointing me over to this delightful localism post. Don't forget to make some color copies when you return to Blind George's!

May 16, 2010 11:55 AM #6
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass


This is fabulous localism post with wonderful photos with interesting historical perspective. This is exactly the type of material that makes for great reading for anyone who is looking in your area.  Well done.


May 17, 2010 01:29 AM #7

this is a very nice site, and brings back memorys....especially since our mom worked for blind george wayyyyyy back when         his newsstand was across the street from the present one...i remember hearing about how he could make change     by the feel of    bills and never got cheated..yes he back then    too had the bestestttttttt popcorn around

Mar 16, 2011 08:58 PM #8
Ed Kuykendall

At about age 12 0r 13, in the mid 1940s, I held brief and informal employment with George Spencer as the pilot and co-engine of his bicycle built for two. Since that was nearly seventy years ago, I can't remember the details of where we were going or what we might have been delivering; I do recall the terror of navigating South Sixth Street, with George providing guidance instructions from the rear. Fortunately, no accidents!

Aug 24, 2014 05:16 AM #9
Bil Johnson

We use to stop by Blind George's for popcorn and suicides. ( a suicide was a mixture of every soda on the fountain)
His German Shepard was remarkable.
Blind George was also remarkable. He could tell you exactly what store he was in front of as he walked the streets of Grants Pass.

May 19, 2016 09:31 AM #10
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