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'Something for Everyone': Lauerman Brothers


Inside the Lauerman Brothers Department Store paint department

Frosted-malt ice cream cones, record-listening booths, apparel, china, furniture, toys — even carpeting. During much of the 20th century, the big department store "had it all." A new book by Wisconsin Historical Society Press shares the story of one such department store — northern Wisconsin's Lauerman Brothers chain. In 'Something for Everyone: Memories of Lauerman Brothers Department Store,' author Michael Leannah traces the history and cultural impact of the Lauerman Brothers stores and the larger story of the golden age of department stores in America.

A Vital Piece of the Community Fabric

The cover of "Something for Everyone: Memories of Lauerman Brothers Department Store"
First opened in 1890 as a general store in the lumber-boom town of Marinette, Lauerman Brothers Department Stores operated with a "code of ethics" and a devotion to offering diverse merchandise and superior customer service. The store remained a vital piece of the community fabric in small towns throughout northern Wisconsin, Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Iowa.

Marinette native, one-time Lauerman employee, and author Michael Leannah takes readers on a nostalgic tour of the store's most memorable and delightful features, from those frosted-malt ice cream cones to record-listening booths.

In capturing this vanishing piece of Americana, "Something for Everyone" transports readers to their own favorite shopping destinations. Drawing on extensive research and interviews with former staff and customers, Leannah brings to life the people who worked and shopped at Lauerman Brothers, creating a unique tapestry of family, business and community history.

About the Author

Michael Leannah has had a long career in the public schools of Milwaukee and Sheboygan. His stories for children have been published in magazines in the United States and in Australia; his radio plays have won national awards and have been performed in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and elsewhere. In 2007 he edited "Well! Reflections on the Life and Career of Jack Benny." Leannah grew up in Marinette within walking distance of Lauerman Brothers Department Store and worked there briefly as a teenager. He now lives with his family in Sheboygan.

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:: Posted August 26, 2013

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