One of Bellingham’s oldest family-owned stores will soon change hands.
Terry Lehmann, the third-generation owner of Lehmann’s Maytag Home Appliance Center at 2001 James St., plans to retire at the end of September and has sold the store to Judd & Black.
“My decision to retire became much easier when Judd & Black agreed to assume operations here,” Lehmann said, in a news release. “They are a community minded store and share our values, which will make them a great new neighbor.”
“We’re confident they’ll take great care of our customers. It should be a smooth transition because they’re keeping all of our employees, including my daughters Heather Hulbert and Shannon Joneli.”
Judd & Black, which has five locations in Snohomish and Skagit counties, will take over the store’s operations on Oct. 1.
Lehmann’s grandfather, Ed Lehmann, launched the business in 1929, shortly after the start of the Great Depression, by selling wringer washers door to door in Lynden.
Ed Lehmann moved his company to Bellingham in 1930 and opened a store on State Street. He sold the business in 1965 to his son Don Lehmann.
Terry Lehmann began working for his father when he was 11—washing windows, mopping floors and dusting appliances. After attending college business classes for two years, he began working full-time at the store in 1970.
Terry Lehmann and his wife Jackie bought the store in 1987.
Lehmann’s, a Maytag dealer since its founding, offers washers, dryers, ranges, dishwashers, refrigerators and coin-operated laundry equipment for rental units. It also is the rare appliance dealer with a complete service and parts department.
The store has been located at multiple locations druing its 84-year history, primarily in downtown Bellingham. The store moved to its present location at the intersection of James, Iowa and State streets in 2009.
A retirement celebration to thank the community will be held at Lehmann’s from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26.
The store will display a collection of antique appliances, including a windmill-powered wooden wringer washer dating back to the 1880s. The celebration also will feature historic photos of downtown Bellingham, food and beverages.