YOU’VE GOTTA START SOMEWHERE;
William H. Enos established a costuming firm in 1910. Enos traveled by horse and wagon or sometime by stage coach to supply costumes to stage shows in northern California. He located his firm at 1110 K Street.
FROM HORSE & WAGON TO RAILWAY
Frances Flint worked for William Enos from 1920-1925. “Part of my job was to take the Northern Electric to various California cities like Gridley, Chico or Grass Valley. The costume trunk would be shipped ahead. I would take it to the local hall and I would rent the costumes right out of the trunk. Someone would invite me to stay overnight in their home. Next day I would pack up the costumes and come home.”
In 1924, Enos acquired the Vogue Pleating Co. and merged the two firms, changing the name to Wm. H. Enos, Costumer & Pleating. He established offices in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley. In addition to the already established business, he began manufacturing underwear and other small articles of clothing. He added needlework supplies and read-to-wear for women. He added the name of his wife, Nettie M., to the title of the business in 1926. Orders came from Porterville, Long Beach, Turlock, Modesto, San Francisco, Oakland & Berkeley. In 1932, Enos added hemstitching to the business. He relocated several times on both K and J Streets.
In 1936 he and his wife Nettie expanded their pleating, hemstitching and costumes business into the Enos Department Store, for Women, Theatrical Costumes & Masquerade located at 820-822 J Street. The Enos Department Store also sold beads, buttons, trims, yardage and yarn. Soon after they purchased the three story building, the basement plus two floors. It included his store , a hardware store, a novelty shop, and the United States Bureau of Reclamation occupying the second story, for an aggregate total of 38,400 square feet. The building site itself is one of historical background: previous to 1906 the Old Capital Woolen Mills and the dry goods store of Charles Crocker, one of the Big Four, stood on the site.
EXIT ENOS and ENTER CAPITAL COSTUMES
During October 1946 Lloyd W. Charlesworth purchased the costumes, moved into 813 ½ J Street and changed the name to Capital Costumes. Claude L. Purvis was employed by Charlesworth in 1947. By 1969 he purchased the business.
CAPITAL COSTUMES HAS HISTORY SEWN UP
1920 - Rental: Clown suit: - $1.50.
1924 - Washington Lodge, Masonic Order 12 & J St. 255 aprons @ $0.35 - $89.25
1924 - Weinstocks-Lubin Co.; Window Valance, Drapes (Including hardware) $3,047.95
1924 - Sacramento Chamber of Commerce: Drapes, Valance, including lining & Silk fringe $175.00.
1924 - The Sacramento Bee: 500 marble sacks - $25.00
1924 - Capital Theatre: 4 usher uniforms $16.50, 4 extra pants - 3.75
1925 - Ben Ali Temple: 38 Spangled capes @ 6.00 - $228.00
1939 - Rental: Frock coat, plaid coat, red wig & silk hat - $4.00
1939 - Chinese suit, cap & que rental - $1.50
1940 - Shipped 20 costumes to Pittville, CA including all accessories - $30.00
1960 - KCRA Santa Suit Rental - $7.50
1979 - Rental: Clown suit - $6.50
Arlene Wright moved to Sacramento in 1972 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies and a masters in Theatre Arts at CSUS.
The current owners, Arlene Wright and Anna Wright Silva have operated the business since August of 1980. Alicia Wright Cappel joined the company in 1989.
In 1983, they moved the store to 6730 Folsom Blvd and finally to Fair Oaks on May 1, 1986. They carry on the tradition of over 100 years of the costume rentals and sales, and added dancewear to the store in 1988.