Montgomery Wards workers reunite

The Montgomery Wards in Duluth may have closed in 1999, but some of its former employees are keeping the memories alive.

For 14 years, they’ve been getting together for an annual reunion. This year it’ll be at 5 p.m. May 4 at Black Woods restaurant in Proctor.

“It’s always the first Saturday in May,” said Meredith Hill of Duluth, who worked in the Wards jewelry department for more than 12 years.

“Sometimes we get people who haven’t attended for many years,” she said. “We get a few people who have been to most of them. Some years, we get people who have never been before.”

Wards was in downtown Duluth from 1933 to 1973, when it became the first store to open its doors at the brand-new Miller Hill Mall. After closing in 1999, its space at the mall was occupied by Barnes & Noble Bookstore, DSW shoes, Old Navy and other stores. The Wards chain went out of business in 2001.

Former employees can come to the reunion for a short while or stay for hours. They can have dinner or not have dinner. No RSVP or reservations are necessary.
“Just show up,” Hill said.