Hess’s Memories

November 19th, 2008 posted by Tracey Werner

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Hesswagon

If you moved to Lehigh Valley within the last 10 years, then you’ve no doubt heard the name Hess’s mentioned a few times by locals. That’s because those of us who grew up here have a fond place in our hearts for our once-majestic department store and still mourn its passing. Some of us, myself included, can wax poetic about their Hess’s experiences, everything from great bargain-basement deals and dazzling merchandise displays to strawberry pie at the Patio and expensive French Room gowns.

Starting this weekend, we get to relive those grand days at the new “Holiday Magic of Hess’s” exhibit at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Center in downtown Allentown. On Saturday, Nov. 22 at 12:45 p.m., the exhibit will be kicked off with the arrival of Santa and his elves on an antique wagon from the store drawn by horses through the streets of the city. It will leave from the old store location at 9th & Hamilton Streets.

Items on display include one of the famous Hess’s crystal chandeliers, clothing sold at the store and items from the Patio restaurant. The temporary exhibit runs through January 11, 2009.

My favorite Hess’s memories aren’t holiday-related but rather going back-to-school shopping with mom at the flagship location. We’d arrive early, shop until lunchtime at which we would take a break in the Patio, followed by more shopping until we dropped. I still have the store’s floor plan imprinted in my brain!

So, what are your memories of Hess’s?

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