Welcome to H.R. Lash, your timeless source for all things clothing and shoes. We’ve dedicated over 100 years to giving you the very best of everything we offer with outstanding customer service. We have a rich history being in the same location all this time with plenty of stories to share. Scroll down to peak through the looking glass of what's happened through the life and times at our business.
H.R. Lash was established in 1914 under the ownership of Herbert Rosevear Lash. This answers the age old question of what the "R" stands for. It all started back in 1912 when Herb R. Lash was working in his father's establishment at C. J. Lash Groceries and Meats located on Cathcart Street here in Sault Ste. Marie. Herb would deliver groceries to the houses in the area. One day his deliveries took him to a home where a young Romanian woman named Vivian Keith was visiting her aunt. Vivian was only 16 years of age but spoke 6 languages. Needless to say he became smitten with her, but her visit was coming to a close and she had to return to Romania. A quick decision was made to start a new life together in the small Steelton community. Two years later they purchased the 308 John St. building from Mr. Stubbs that had been under construction and opened a small shoe store on the corner known as H.R. Lash. Herb rented out the other areas to different tenants housing barbers, bankers, (TRADERS BANK later known as THE ROYAL BANK) pharmacists, grocers, just to mention a few. Herbert and Vivian then resided for the rest of their days above the store in one of the apartments and had one son, William, born May 21, 1919. The other upstairs apartments were rented through the years to many, many family members and friends becoming a small community on its own. Since then, there have been four generations that have carried on with the family business passing it from father to son. Each carrying on with the business ethics and wisdom passed on from generation to generation.
We hope you enjoy our history and products as much as we enjoy offering them to you. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Herb J. Lash
Rocking to the Oldies
With having such a long history and old photographs on the walls surrounding the business, we like to keep in touch with the great music that we've seen through the years. We made our own Spotify playlist with over 1700 Oldies tracks. We would like to share our playlist with you! Click Here or on the photo to link you to our playlist!
CLICK ON THE YEAR TO REVEAL THE THINGS THAT TOOK PLACE DURING THAT TIME
Herbert. Rosevear Lash was born on October 10, 1888 in Bay City, Michigan, USA to Charles Lash (born in Germany) and Anna Lash (born in Canada). His father was a Switchman at M.C.R.R. and later moved to Sault Ste. Marie to operate C.J. Lash - Groceries and Meat on Cathcart Street. . He started his own business known as H.R. Lash at 308 John Street initially selling shoes and later expanding his store area to include clothing. This business has remained in the same location for over 100 years. He married Vivian Keith August 12th 1912 and had his son William (Bill) Lash that would be his successor. Herb's passions in life included duck hunting, lake trout fishing in Goulais Bay on their boat The Vivian B, softball, and sports in general. As a curler, he represented Northern Ontario twice in the Brier. Herbert R. Lash was the foundation of what we have today. It was with his determination and idea's that continue to inspire our business. Herb R. Lash passed away on January 20, 1951 in his 62nd year. His wife Vivian continued to survive him for over 20 years living above the store until her death on April 14, 1972.
William Herbert Lash takes ownership of his father's business in December of 1947 at the age of 28. Born May 25, 1919 Bill was the only son of Herbert Rosevear and Vivian Beatrice. Bill enjoyed his youth living in an apartment above the store and spending summer days enjoying cottage life on Grant Road in Goulais River. Fishing was done in the Goulais River, Goulais Bay, and Montreal River areas on their boat The Vivian B, and hunting was at the French Bay Hunt Camp in Blind River. His pastimes also included curling, golfing, square dancing just to mention a few. A Director of the Retail Merchant Association and also an active member of his community. Before going overseas in World War ll he married his war bride Emma Isabelle (Saunders) on April 14,1943. Bill was a wireless operator and tail gunner in the war and belonged to squadrons towing gliders carrying paratroops. Family stories to his children revealed he was the first or second plane into Normandy. A family casualty of the war was Vivian's brother's son, Alan Lionel Keith who died on April 28, 1943 in his Wellington AD593 after being shot down by flak off Cape Bianco. Sicily. Bill returned home and became a father of three boys, John, Herbert and Bruce and continued a full life rich in friends, business and travel. His wife Isabelle was very active in the store for many years doing secretarial duties as well as an active volunteer for her church, the Cancer Society and many other charities. Bill passed away on March 20, l980 on his return from a pleasure trip to Hawii at the age of 60 years. Isabelle survived Bill for over 20 years and passed away on March 24, 2004.
Herbert Alan Lash was born November 28th 1949 being one of three boys to Bill and Isabelle. Herb being the son taking the greatest interest in his fathers business and worked at the store with his other brothers John and Bruce since they were young boys doing miscellaneous jobs. On December 11, 1969, Herbert Alan Lash became a director and shareholder of his father's company, and continued until he purchased the business in December of 1979. Herb also entertained many passions which included summers water skiing, fishing, and swimming at Goulais River, hunting at the French Bay Hunt Club and later bowling, tournament fishing, duck, moose and deer hunting, and finally resting into golf. Herb married Peggy (Marinich) on May 9, l977 having Heather in 1984 and Herbie in 1985. Peggy is actively involved in the accounting of the store to date. Herb's three children, Sheri, Heather and Herbie Jr. all worked in the store with Herbert Johnathon showing the greatest interest and continuing his interest with a dipolma from Sault College. Herb Sr. as we call him, like his grandfather, received a civilian citation on September 21, l981 by Durham Regional Police Force for outstanding performance in coming to the aid of an elderly woman at a bus stop after having her purse stolen. Herb stopped the car to follow the thief through a field to recover her purse. He has spent many years in pursuit of numerous criminals in the name of justice. Selling his business to his son Herb Jr. in January of, 2014 , celebrated the store's 100th anniversary. Herbert Alan Lash is now in a semi-retirement mode enjoying cottage life at Point Des Chenes and as much golf as he can get in with the occasional fishing.
Orlando was born in the south of Italy on December 27, 1936. As a young boy of 10 years he attended school for 1/2 the day with the other half learning his trade at a tailor shop. He did not receive any pay but learned his skill. In 1953 he came to Sault Ste. Marie following his father and brother who were already here. Initially he wanted to return home but eventually made Sault Ste. Marie his permanent home. Orlando was employed by Mr. Ianni doing his custom made suits until he branched off onto his own in 1960. With his first shop on Wellington Street he was approached by our manager Charlie Murphy. Orlando remembers Charlie saying to Orlando -"Do not cut any corners- do what you have to do for a good job". At that time there was a demand for custom made suits and Orlando would start from the measurements. Orlando 's reputation is second to none and we are very proud and privileged to have him. For the past 15 years Orlando had been doing our alterations and comes in daily on a part-time basis. He has just celebrated his 80th birthday and does not plan on retiring. He says he will work till he can work no more! Thank you Orlando, Happy Birthday and many more.
Herbert Johnathon Lash born July 11,l985 to Herb and Peggy takes over the business from his father Herbert Alan Lash in January of 2014 at the age of 29. This is the same year that marks the 100 Year anniversary of the business. Herbert was born in Sault Ste. Marie and his first home was on Grant Road in Goulais River. This is where the Lash family had spent all their summers many years before. Initially modelling suits later grew into many other small chores until he began working at H.R. Lash in high school. After taking a serious interest in the business, he pursued it head on by taking the business program at Sault College. Herb Jr.'s generation as a retailer will probably take on the greatest of challenges facing global trade, instability of jobs, and of course the constantly changing technology and competition with on-line shopping. Herb Jr. is up for the challenge with optimism and enthusiasm introducing new lines of clothing and shoes to his customers and options for in-store and on-line purchasing. We are so proud that we have been able to continue the store's legacy with the continuance of Herb Jr. at the helm and look ahead to the future of yet another generation at H.R.Lash.