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Pemberville general store to display Tiedtke's memorabilia for holidays

Most items loaned by area residents

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    Beeker's General Store owner Todd Sheets displays Tiedtke's memorabilia in his Pemberville, Ohio store.

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    Tiedtke's Department Store on Summit Street in 1936. Photo from Toledo Lucas County Public Library.

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    Area residents have loaned a number of items for the Tiedtke's display at Beeker's General Store.

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    Preparing a cheese sandwich atop Tiedtke's annual Christmas 2-ton cheese wheel is Evelyn Durdel (Sandrock) on Dec. 21, 1955. The cheese, 5 feet high and 4 1/2 feet in diameter, required 54,450 pounds of milk and 660 man-hours of labor. It was New York State cheddar cheese.

    Blade file photo

  • tiedtke-2-14446843-jpg

    People swarmed to the former Tiedtke Department Store fire on May 7, 1975. The store had been closed for two years at the time.

    Blade file photo

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    Sheets poses with Tiedtke's memorabilia in his Pemberville, Ohio store.

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    Donations have included original signage and advertising, hat boxes, pastry boxes and coffee bags, and a number of written memories to be typed and framed.

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PEMBERVILLE, Ohio — A Pemberville general store with a 14-decade history of its own is celebrating a former downtown Toledo store with a special holiday display.

Beeker’s General Store, 226 E. Front St., will exhibit memorabilia from Tiedtke’s Department Store from Dec. 1 to Jan. 6 for the “Holy Toledo, It’s Tiedtke’s” display. Owner Todd Sheets said numerous customers enter his old-time shop and wax nostalgic with memories of the popular Toledo store.

“Our store is 141 years old,” Mr. Sheets said. “When folks walk in, we have the original old wooden floor, and many people rub their feet on the floor and say it brings back memories of Tiedtke’s.”

The Tiedtke's name became part of downtown Toledo in 1894 with a grocery store that offered delivery service to customers. In 1910, Tiedtke's expanded, and opened the flagship store at the corner of Summit and Adams streets. The first floor was devoted to a wide selection of fresh meat, fresh fish, produce, candy, spices, and tobacco. The upper floors showcased housewares, toys, clothing, and shoes.

Tiedtke’s was known for bringing in 2-ton wheels of cheddar at Christmas time, as well as fresh-ground coffee, popcorn, baked goods, freshly ground peanut butter, and flowers.

Tiedtke's fell on hard times following a change to corporate ownership, a shift in what was sold at the store, and a loss of population in the downtown area. The store closed in 1973. The building burned in a massive fire as it was being demolished two years later.

While Mr. Sheets has no memories of his own of Tiedtke’s, he has collected a few pieces of memorabilia over the years.

“Everybody always has a very positive memory of it,” he said. “We thought a display would be fun. Lots of people reminisce about going downtown to Tiedtke’s at Christmas time.”

Area residents have loaned a number of items for the display, including original signage and advertising, hat boxes, pastry boxes and coffee bags, a wedding dress with the original receipt, photos, a nativity set, and a number of written memories to be typed and framed.

“People have been generous thus far,” Mr. Sheets said. “We’ll have probably a 10-foot by 10-foot square area.”

Mr. Sheets will continue to accept loaned items throughout December, and he expects the display will grow and change as more items are added.

To share a memory or loan an item, residents may visit the store, send mail to P.O. Box 273, Pemberville, OH, 43450, email info@beekersgeneralstore.com, or call 419-287-3274. All items will be cataloged for ownership and returned promptly after the display closes in January.

Contact Alexandra Mester amester@theblade.com419-724-6066, or on Twitter @AlexMesterBlade.

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