Former English’s owner visits store’s new look

Published 3:11 pm Thursday, February 26, 2009

Owner of 61 on Mainin downtown Luverne, Martha Dickey got a nice surprise on Saturday, February 14, when she was presented with a gift for her store.

Former owner of English’s, Rowena English and her two daughters, Lana Sellers and Norma English, came from Birmingham to honor Dickey with a replica of a pocket watch clock that used to hang in English’s.

English’s was a department store that ran for 18 years.

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“We couldn’t find the original one, so we had one made just like it,” said Norma English.

The pocket watch is to be a nice addition to the original English’s sign that now hangs above the entrance to the store.

61 on Main opened the day after Thanksgiving last year.

“I’ve always loved this building,” said Dickey, who also has owned Steppin Out for the last 20 years.

Dickey was interested in a larger building before she bought the old department store building.

“This is my last hurrah,” said Dickey, laughing.

Maintaining and just keeping up with different stores was physically taxing on her.

In keeping the original English’s sign, she also kept some of the things that were around the department store’s time period.

“I wanted to keep some of the things that people would remember,” said Dickey.

She kept the light fixtures, the steps that lead up to the shoe department, and the original iron railing for the steps.

“My family helped with some of the things around the store,” said Dickey.

With shelves and bricks decked out around the store, 61 on Main also has more than just clothing and shoes available.

Such extras include appealing keychains, aromatic candles and body lotions, eye-catching jewelry and many other trinkets can be found.

Rowena English, who likes what Dickey did with the store, said that it was such a pleasant surprise to see what was done to the former building.

“She did the store pretty…it’s a whole new look!” said English.

Rowena and her daughters, Norma English and Lana Sellers presented the pocket watch, and also gave Dickey a small gold plaque to go in the store.

“I’m thrilled with what Martha has done to the store,” said Norma English.

“She has a wonderful selection…we didn’t have all this stuff before,” said Lana Sellers, talking about just having clothes and shoes at English’s.

“We just had the basics,” added Sellers.

Dickey wasn’t the only one who was privileged with a surprise that day.

There was a surprise luncheon at the Chicken Shack, and awaiting Rowena English were former co-workers of English’s, as well as her friends and neighbors from Luverne.

English also said that it was a good surprise and was wonderful to see so many of the familiar faces.

“I’m glad to be back!” said English.

Among the guests for the surprise luncheon were: John Milton and Lilellen Wise, Charles and Gladys Sport, Mattie Pearl Sport, Josephine Partridge, Frances Smith, Wanda Smith-Love, Faye Harbin, Edna Norsworthy, Sammy and Lena Pearl Carr, Voncile Nichols, Sandra Harvin-Dunphy, and J.I. and Mazalle Brooke.

When English is at her home in Birmingham, she spends a lot of time in her yard and flower beds.