Downtown Reminisces Of Christmases Past - WSET.com - ABC13

Downtown Reminisces Of Christmases Past

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Lynchburg, VA- Christmas in downtown Lynchburg doesn't exactly look like it used to in the old days, but a new find by the Lynchburg Museum has some people feeling nostalgic.

A Santa Claus that was displayed at the old Leggett's department store back in the 50's was donated a few months ago. Since the Santa was donated, many people have been searching for pictures of it in its original spot. It took a while, but the Lynchburg Museum now has more than twenty pictures of the old Leggett's store that was once downtown.

"Main Street in Lynchburg, the whole business was everything. The plaza didn't exist, the mall didn't exist," said Ed Tinsley, who volunteers at the Lynchburg Museum.

More than fifty years have passed and things have changed since then. At Christmas time, the store displays on Lynchburg's Main Street used to draw people from all over.

"Everything business was from fifth street down to about thirteenth street," said Tinsley.

Tinsley has worked in Lynchburg since 1953 and remembers the old version of town well. He says when they received this Santa that once stood on the roof of Leggett's, they began to search for pictures to help them remember a different time.

"Society was a little more social than it is now. I think it's great, and maybe it will help us look back and do things a little different," said Tinsley.

Three months went by and the pictures finally came in to the museum. Pieces of history from over half a century ago of the store that sat at 1015 Main Street, which is now Absolute Bridal. Owner Val Nicosia found some history of his own.

 "We knocked down a couple of walls inside and found some of the Leggett's pamphlets and posters inside the walls from like 1960's so it was kinda cool and that's when we started thinking about it'd be really cool to restore some of the downtown nostalgia," said Nicosia.

Nicosia is taking full advantage of his historical spot, and hopes to keep the Leggett's memory alive.

"We are a little bit of history, you know, just having the honor of being involved a little bit in the history of it," said Nicosia.

Nicosia says people often stop in to talk to him about the old Leggett's store. He says he wants to bring back some of the original history of the building and even is considering trying to recreate the rooftop display for next year.            

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