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Lipsitz family papers

Identifier: Mss 1102

Collection Overview

Promotional materials, business materials, clippings, correspondence, and publications of the Lipsitz family of Beaufort, South Carolina. Promotional and business materials relate to the Lipsitz Department Store and include promotional materials for Red Goose Shoes, including tabletop displays, children's composition books, and individual tickets to a Red Goose theatre party sponsored by the Lipsitz Department Store. Clippings relate to the Jewish community of Beaufort and were compiled into two albums by Lucille Bass Lipsitz as an anniversary gift to her husband, Joseph Lipsitz. Correspondence includes letters from the South Carolina Association of B'nai Brith Lodges addressed to Dr. Hyman Lipsitz, as well as Rosh Hashanah cards addressed to the Lipsitz and Rabinowitz families. Publications include a Russian imprint of the Old Testament Book of Numbers written in Hebrew, a Magil's Linear School Bible, a College of Charleston catalog, and a complimentary Haggadah from S. J. Gold Kosher Deli, Atlanta, Georgia.


  • Creation: 1876-1953


Language of Material

Materials in English and Hebrew

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

In 1900, Lithuanian immigrant Max Saul Lipsitz (1886-1964) moved to Beaufort, South Carolina. Two years later, at the age of sixteen, he founded the Lipsitz Department Store, located on 825 Bay Street in downtown Beaufort. In the beginning the store sold groceries and clothing but after a renovation in 1922 moved into general merchandise and dry goods. Finally, in 1942, the store was converted into a department store. In 1908 Lipsitz married Bertha Rubin (1886-1956). The couple had three children: Ethel Lipsitz Rabinowitz (1911-1997), Hyman Lipsitz (1913-2002), and Joseph Lipsitz (1921- ). In 1946 Lipsitz retired, turning the store over to his son Joseph Lipsitz, his daughter, Ethel Lipsitz Rabinowitz, and her husband, Henry Rabinowitz (1907-1964).

Ethel Lipsitz Rabinowitz was a co-owner of the Lipsitz Department Store until her retirement in 1972. She was a graduate of Winthrop College and a member of Beaufort's Congregation Beth Israel.

Hyman Lipsitz attended the University of South Carolina and graduated with a DDS from the Atlanta-Southern Dental College in 1936. He practiced dentistry in Bishopville, South Carolina from 1936 to 1940 before returning to Beaufort. He served four years in the Army Air Corps during World War II as a major with the 15th Fighter Group of the 7th Air Force. After the war, he resumed his dental practice in Beaufort, retiring in 1981. He was an active member of Beth Israel synagogue, where he served as president for 13 years.

Joseph Lipsitz owned and managed the Lipsitz Department Store from 1945 until his retirement in 1986. In 1955 he married Lucille Bass (1930- ). The couple has four children: Neil Lipsitz, Barry Lipsitz, Sandra Lipsitz, and Judy Lipsitz Thornberry. Neil Lipsitz joined the family business in 1981, eventually opening his own shoe store, Lipsitz Shoes, in 1998, directly across the street from the family store. Lucille Bass Lipsitz, with other family members, continued to manage the department store until its closing in February of 2009.


4.0 linear feet (2 document boxes, 1 slim document box, 1 large sign)


Promotional materials, business materials, clippings, correspondence, and publications of the Lipsitz family of Beaufort, South Carolina. Materials primarily relate to the Lipsitz Department store, owned and operated by three generations of the Lipsitz family from 1902 to 2009.

Collection Arrangement

  1. Lipsitz Department store, 1903-1952, undated
  2. Clippings, 1898-1953
  3. Correspondence, 1910-1952
  4. Publications, 1876-1936, undated

Processing Information

Processed by Joshua Minor, April 2012.

Inventory of the Lipsitz Family Papers, 1876-1953
Processed by: Joshua Minor; machine-readable finding aid created by: Joshua Minor
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the processing of this collection and encoding of the finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)