The current Gambles Building is the second building from the left in the above picture. From l-r Harlan Packard Hotel, Coffee shop located in the Packard and the Fair Store. Note the two additional floors in this picture for which the date is unknown but must be before 1956 when the name was changed.
The Redfield Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce a new feature, The Chamber Spotlight, which will be highlighting a different business four times a year that has made significant changes to their business that reflect positively on the Redfield Area. The businesses will be chosen by the Chamber Board from the current list of Chamber members.
For their first Chamber Spotlight the board is pleased to announce that Mike Kruthoff of Gambles, with a name change planned to Mike’s Mattresses and Bedroom Store), and owner of Mike’s Furniture and Home Decor has been selected.
Gambles is a long standing Redfield Business. In 1947 that location was known as the Fair Store, another long service Redfield Business. Located next to the Harlan Packard Hotel, the Fair Store sold a variety of products. In 1947 the Fair Store remodeled and McDermott Music moved in to that location as well with the Fair Store and occupied the space that had formerly been a lunch counter. The lunch counter was still in the store as well and had just been moved. At some point in between 1947 and 1956 the Fair Store became the Tom Thumb store. In 1954 it was announced that the Snack Shop and the Crystal Bar located on the west side of Main Street would be torn down to make room for the construction of a new Tom Thumb store. Those buildings, known as the Blain Buildings were constructed in 1888. The location was completed and the new Tom Thumb store opened in August of 54. Their prior location, current home of Gambles, would remain empty until 1956 when on March 8, 1956 it was announced the Gambles store in Redfield would be moving to a new location. Two press releases from that time follow.
Redfield Press - March 8, 1956
Gamble Store will move to New Location
Al Friest, manager of the Redfield Gamble Store announced this week that his store will occupy a new location within a few months. The Gamble Store will be moved to the vacant building just south of the Coffee Shop, which is the location of the old Tom Thumb Store.
Work was begun this week by L.C. Nelson, contractor on the remodeling of the store building prior to the move by the Gamble Store. The building will receive a new tile floor, a completely new front, new fluorescent lights, and a partially new ceiling. It will be completely re-decorated after the remodeling is completed.
Friest said that he hopes to be able to start installing shelves and fixtures in the building by April 1. He has not set a date for a grand opening in the new location but he estimated that it would not likely be before May 1.
Friest reported that he plans to enlarge his present stock and also add a line of furniture.
Redfield Press - May 24, 1956
Gambles Store Grand Opening this Weekend
The new Redfield Gambles store will hold its grand opening Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this week, May 24-25-26. The new store will be open both Thursday and Friday nights for the grand opening event.
The new store is located in the building just south of the Coffee Shop. The building was formerly occupied by the Tom Thumb Store. The building has a 50-foot front. The building has been completely remodeled and redecorated with new lights, new floor and new front. All of the newest type store fixtures have been used with many pegboard displays.
Al Friest, who completed 13 years as manager of the Redfield Gambles store last February said that he has added a complete line of furniture and has also added between two and three thousand new items in the hardware, tool, house ware, and regular lines. The store has twice as much floor space as the old Gambles store and it is all being used for merchandise display.
Gambles have had a store in Redfield for 28 years. They were originally located in the building now occupied by Chrystal's Bar. The Gambles store was located on the east side of Main Street, midway between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue for the past 19 years.
In 1961 Lee Kruthoff was selected as Manager of the Gambles store and he and his family moved to Redfield from Clark where he managed the store until March of 1968 when Lee and his wife Bertha bought the store. A change of Managers sale was held in January of 1961 when Kruthoff took over and ads from February 9, 1961 announced a get acquainted with the new managers sale. Sometime after the Main Street Fire of 1962 the top two floors of the store were removed. Previously they had been apartments. However, despite numerous calls and research the exact date has not been determined. Still it is worth noting that this store is one of oldest in Redfield as far as structure.
Lee and his wife would manage the store until 1988 when Lee retired and sold the store to his son’s Mike and Steve. In the 1990’s, sole ownership of the store transferred to Mike.
Throughout the years, the building has seen a variety of changes as has the merchandise, (Everything from toys, novelties, hardware, housewares, linens, tires, tools and furniture), carried by the various owners. However, one thing remains, the positive aspect of the Kruthoff family that Mike continues to bring to Redfield’s Main Street. In addition, the Chamber makes special recognition of the fact that not only has Mike worked to maintain one store, now he is the owner of Mike’s Furniture and Home Decor (formerly Stacey’s) and has brought a touch of the remodeling to that location as well. Congratulations Mike and many more successful years from the Redfield Area chamber of Commerce.