Department store closes after 150+ years in business - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Department store closes after 150+ years in business

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The business, which began as a dry goods retail store before the Civil War, has stood the test of time. The business, which began as a dry goods retail store before the Civil War, has stood the test of time.
Hayden Spalding Hayden Spalding
Sallie Walsh Sallie Walsh
On Tuesday the store will open for the last time. On Tuesday the store will open for the last time.

BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) – After more than 150 years a local department store will close its doors for good.

Since 1856 Spalding and Sons has called downtown Bardstown home. On Tuesday, it will open for the last time. It's a bittersweet time for a family that invested so much. 

The business, which began as a dry goods retail store before the Civil War, has stood the test of time.

"This is the original store right here and it's been re-done several times," said Hayden Spalding. 

Started by his great grandfather, Spalding always helped out around the department store growing up, but after college he wasn't sure this is where he belonged.

"I was going to be a dentist, but I didn't make it and I've got bad teeth, too," laughed Spalding. 

So, called back home, 54 years ago, Spalding took pride in his new career. His children would grow up here, daughter Sallie Walsh would eventually join him in management.  

"When we needed school shoes though, dad would take us in at night and bring us the reject shoes that none of the other children wanted," laughed Walsh. 

While business was always good soon the competition would prove to be too much.

"Things have changed, the internet, the malls and people are only loyal to the dollar, they are not loyal like they use to be," said Walsh. 

When another store across the street offered to buy their building, Spalding and his family felt even if they weren't ready that this may be time to sell.

"We've had this amazing run," said Walsh. "We are one of the oldest clothing stores in the country in the same family, so that's something to take with you."

Walsh gives all the credit to her father for keeping it going as long as he could.

"Don't ask me what I'm going to do when I retire because I don't know," said Spalding.

On Tuesday, December 31, Spalding and Sons will be open for the last time during their normal hours, but once they move on, the new building owners plan to put up pictures of the Spalding family as a reminder of their long legacy in Bardstown. 

The store was sold this year to Cathy Clements, owner of Peacock on Third, which sits across the street on North Third.

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