209 First Street
Moonraker (Post Office / Sportsmen's Center / Gift store / Thrift Store)
1915: Post office
1923. Post office (Courtesy South Whidbey Historical Society).
A post office was built on First Street in 1915 by Langley's first mayor, Frank E. Furman, who resigned as mayor to serve as Langley's postmaster from 1915 to 1922.
After the post office moved to the north side of First Street in 1939, the building housed the Whidby Record office for a time before becoming "Bob's Sportsmen's Center" run by Robert Stuart whose son, also named Robert Stuart, ran the Langley Fountain across the Lane.
Circa 1944. Bob's Sportsmen's Center (arrow) (Courtesy Anna Primavera).
1950's. Grandad's Place (arrow) (Courtesy Marion Henny).
It then became "Grandad's ("Pops") candy and hobby store before being taken over by the Saint Vincent De Paul thrift store.
According to Josh Hauser, the people who owned the Liquor Store for a long time used the front portion of the former post office for a candy store. There is still a door between the two buildings, but it was boarded up by Saint Vincent DePaul.
1971: Moonraker Book Store.
Josh and Glen Hauser bought the property and the adjacent Liquor Store around Christmas time in 1971, and opened the Moonraker bookstore in June of 1972 with $900 worth of paperbacks.
According to Josh Hauser, "There weren't a lot of people with disposable income in the 1970's. I sold T.V. Guides. Anything to get somebody through my door. I used to jump rope in front of the bookstore for entertainment just to get people to stop and talk to me. I might just open for a couple hours in the winter."
1972. Moonraker bookstore (Courtesy Josh Hauser).
The front door opened in, so they had to make an inset so it could open out as per the code. Glen also designed and built a wood facade for the turquoise colored concrete block liquor store to make it look better.
Josh recalls, "The big window in the facade above the door had nothing in it, so we decided to fill it with something. We got a couple manikins and put a wedding gown and a tuxedo on them. Glen did a wonderful stencil that said Tuxedo Rentals - Closed for the Season.' Our business motto was 'For When Langley Comes Alive After Five.' Everybody knew about it and people would find costumes in thrift stores. I wound up with six or seven tuxedos. I used to loan them out to the Fools productions. The joke was, if someone wanted to use our bathroom, they'd say 'I'm here for my fitting.' We had to take it down when a bunch of high school boys came barreling through the door to rent tuxedos."
1977: Second floor addition.
1977. South side view of second floor addition under construction (Courtesy Josh Hauser).
A second floor was added to the original building and over the adjacent liquor store in 1977.
1977. West side view of second floor addition under construction (Courtesy Josh Hauser).
The (Moonraker) building would not support a second floor, so the weight was supported by pillars along alley.
Circa 1985. The Moontaker and Liquor Store with second floor (Courtesy Langley City Hall).
2010. Remodel of entry (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
Due to deterioration of its foundation, the front portion of the building was replaced in 2010.
2017. Moonraker and Roberta in former Liquor Store (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
The Liquor Store moved in 1992, and was replaced by Roberta Clothing in 1997.