History & Tourism

Lazarus Department Store’s Christmas Tradition Has (Tree) Roots

27 Dec , 2019  

If you grew up in this area, you may remember Christmastime at Lazarus Department Store. Although the store, located at the Richland Mall, has long ago closed and was actually re-opened as the Avita Health System’s Ontario Hospital in 2017, memories of Christmases past at Lazarus remain.

A remembrance of Christmas and a local department store typically means thoughts of visiting Santa. In the case of Lazarus, though, this is also means spending some time with a talking tree. Mr. Tree, as he was generally referred to, may have frightened you as a child or fascinated you.

Lazarus Department Stores, one of the icons of the American retail industry in Ohio, Indiana and West Viriginia, went through several mergers and was eventually absorbed into the Macy’s brand. These days, Mr. Tree has a Facebook page, though it’s primarily focused on the flagship Columbus store.

Here in Richland County, we will remember trips to Richland Mall to see Santa and Mr. Tree. Many also remember Mr. Tree’s official song, which  can be listened to below.

Here’s wishing you and all the kids in our area wonderful childhood memories of the season!

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