If you live long enough your memories become an overloaded attic in your mind, many of them you wish you could forget but you never will. Thoughts of dead relatives and friends, awkward moments in school, frustrating times at work and heartbreaking busted-up relationships are stored away in your memory banks and come back to haunt you in the wee small hours as the night morphs into yet another morning that starts the next 24 hour cycle of our lives.
This week here in Peoria, a department store becomes just that for many of us that grew up and enjoyed a strip of stores known as Sheridan Village. Sheridan Village was once a magical retail oasis that housed a record store, The Book Emporium, Baskin Robbins, Kresge’s, Fannie Mae Candy, a jewelry store, Schradzki’s clothing emporium and a furniture store.
The heart and soul of Sheridan Village was always Bergner’s which was located smack-dab in the center of Sheridan Village. It was Peoria’s most beloved department store who’s inventory included men's and women's clothing, jewelry, records, cosmetics, toys, appliances, a somewhat scary and creepy talking Christmas tree, Peanut Butter Heaven, Skandia Restaurant and a wheezy and breezy entrance that mimicked this classic Marilyn Monroe movie scene.
Bergner’s closes its doors forever this week and Sheridan Village will be reduced to a somewhat sad shopping strip duo of a discount health club and an oversized grocery store. Time marches on and Bergner’s fades into a memory. I went and took a few final storefront photos yesterday, but first I’ll post some images from the past.
Bergner’s—Photos From The Past
These are the newspaper articles from a 1957 edition of the PJ Star excitedly announcing the opening of the Sheridan Village Bergner's store. You can read the PJ Star editorial about the closing of the retail store here and see more vintage photos.
Here's a trio of black and white photos of the Bergner's storefront that I found on the internet where images of the department store will live on in facebook posts, Pinterest collections, Instagram updates and Google searches.
Shots From Yesterday: The Store Is Closing
I took these photos yesterday when there was just three days left in the life of Bergner's. It's now down to two, so if you want to go and pay your last respects, you better hurry over there.
My Final Parting Shot