Most of the photos here at Rabbit Run Cottage
can be enlarged just by clicking on each one!
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas At The Schuster

Going into Dayton, to see a show or performance at
The Schuster, is always a treat. It's a beautiful structure, inside and out!

But there was a time that going down to Second and Main meant something very different.To Daytonians it meant, "Going down to Rike's".

Rikes was a seven-story department store in downtown Dayton, Ohio. It began in the 1850's as a dry goods firm and moved to the corner of Second and Main in 1912 where it remained until it was demolished in 1999.

Once upon a time, a wonderful and magical holiday tradition was on prominent display, entertaining and delighting children of all ages - hopefully creating memories that would last for the duration of their lives.

These glorious windows became the focal point of Christmas in downtown Dayton, and nearly every area family would bring children downtown each December to enjoy the magnificent presentations featuring dancing elves, woodland creatures, happy families and all manner of holiday delights!

Yes, for most of us who grew up in the Dayton, Ohio area, going down to Rike's department store during the holidays was a must do! Their windows were just such fun! I can still remember standing in the bitter temperatures, nose pressed to the cold glass, drinking in every single detail each scene offered.

Now, I am sure that to our technology fed children, these scenes seem all too simple in nature and but to us, the children of the 50s and 60s, they were an integral part of our Christmas magic.

When Rike's was imploded to make way for the Schuster, these scenes were salvaged and reconditioned. Each holiday season they are, once again, brought to life in the very spots where they once delighted scores of children. Where once they were inside of Rike's, they now spend the holidays inside the Wintergarden section of the Schuster Center. They stand ready to bring smiles to the young ones and fond memories to those of us who are a wee bit older! What a treat for the children of today and for those of of a *certain* age who still remember this sweet holiday delight
and have kept their child like enthusiasm locked securely in their heart!

Love from your Rabbit Run Cottage photographer...Susie Q!


Jo said...

A lot of the pl in my town talk abt Rikes and the window display, thanks for sharing threw photos , so now I know what they are talking abt

Mom2fur said...

My older sister was born in Dayton, Ohio! I wish we were near there. Those windows look adorable!

Suzi Q, I hope you have a holiday as lovely and magical as those windows!

Debby said...

I so remember Rikes. Kind of like going to downtown Columbus to the old Lazarus. The store windows and the realSanta. I loved how the bells rand when you entered from high street and the annex, chicken salad, fashio shows, and the escalator. Good memories for sure.
Merry Christmas.

Bobbie said...

That is an impressive structure and adorable display

Connie said...

My husband and I were at the Schuster Tues. night to see Mannheim Steamroller and relived seeing the windows once again. Next year I'll have to take my grandchildren.

Susan said...

Seems I haven't visited Rabbit Run in awhile because today I'm just reading of dear sweet Kipper. I'm so sorry I know he was a big huge love in your family's life. May he be hangin' out with Piper Belle, Emma Jane & Jake eating loads of 'scream and racing together through meadows of wild clover xo with much love, Susan & les Gang

Bonnie said...

I'm so glad you shared these pictures again this year. I remember seeing them for the first time last year. Even though I've never been to Rikes I so love all these displays.

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

May your New Year be filled with many Blessings and abundances of Joy for 2011. From my mountain to yours, Until next year
Hugs and Smiles Gl♥ria

Meggie said...

Happy New Year, Sweet Sue! Hope you and the family are well.

Pamela said...

I love your memories.
You're right. Kids don't have to have as much imagination as we did.

And we had less than our parents.

Pamela said...

I love your memories.
You're right. Kids don't have to have as much imagination as we did.

And we had less than our parents.

Kat said...

Hi sweet friend! I have been so busy lately with LIFE, holidays, trips, etc. that my blog visits have been limited, but I think I'm finally getting to a point where I can get back to normal. (Whatever normal is! LOL) I've had fun catching up a bit with you tonight.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Terri said...

Wow, that is awesome. I will have to put this on my holiday have-to-do list!

Sandi McBride said...

THis was just plain magical if anything this gorgeous could be called plain, lol! Thanks for sharing the fun

Brown English Muffin said...

I haven't tagged anyone in a while!!!

But you've been tagged!!!

Brown English Muffin said...

The architecture of that building is breath taking.

Joseph Gartrell said...


I handle Ohio projects for The History Press, a publisher of local and regional history books.

I've been looking around for someone to tackle a project on Rike's. Would you have any interest? I'm also looking for a Brian Dennehy biographer (that one's a joke).

I do encourage you to check out our website at You'll find that we publish beautiful books.

I hope to hear from you. I'd love to share a little more about what I have in mind. And if you're not interested in the project but know of someone who may be, I'd love some help connecting with that writer.


Joe Gartrell
The History Press
Special Projects Editor