By 1812Blockhouse

If you grew up in this area and are of a certain age, 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 actually fascinated you.

Lazarus Department Stores, one of the icons of the American retail industry in Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia, went through several mergers and was eventually absorbed into the Macy’s brand. It was founded in 1851 by German immigrant Simon Lazarus as a one-room men’s clothing store, which later expanded to include various departments, such as apparel for women. The store was known for its innovative retail concepts, including selling merchandise at one price, using a moving escalator, and introducing the retail concept of a Bargain Basement with closeouts.

Mr. Tree made a reappearance this season at Santa Comes to CBUS; see more here.

Here in Richland County, many 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!


Image by 🎄Merry Christmas 🎄 from Pixabay

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