Offering Generations of Experience
by Dee Fisher
Did you grow up with an extended family living nearby? As someone who did, I can say there are pluses and minuses associated with that scenario. Although you had the comfort of always having a safe home and people who knew you close by, you also couldn’t get away with any less than sterling behavior in public!
Now imagine that, along with the family living close by, nearly everyone in the family was involved in the same type of work. And not just the same type of work, but the same business. This is the story told by five generations of the Lehmann family in Delphos.
Located on the corner of Main and 2nd Streets in downtown Delphos, Ohio, Lehmann’s Furniture occupies three floors and a basement of the former Phelan Hotel building. An elevator makes traveling from floor to floor convenient for customers. There are more than 40 rooms filled with displays of beautiful furniture and home decorative accessories.
“Morris and Martha Elizabeth Lehmann purchased the building in 1956 and ran it as a hotel until 1959, when my husband Mike joined the business,” recounts Marthanne Lehmann, one of the current owners. “After a few years of operating the hotel, they turned the 52 rooms into a furniture and appliance store.”
Morris Lehmann wasn’t the first in the family to sell home appliances and furniture. His father, Fred Lehmann, had owned C.F. Lehmann’s Music Store on Main Street since 1911. He sold musical instruments and accessories, sheet music, Victrolas, and some home appliances until the great Depression of the 1930s.
In 1948, Morris and Martha Elizabeth opened the House of Music in their home on 2nd Street, selling pianos and televisions. Through several moves over the next few years, they added more appliance and furniture lines, while slowly phasing out musical instruments and accessories.
In 1959, the current Lehmann’s Furniture opened for business. Morris passed away in 1969, and his son Mike became president of the business. His wife, Marthanne, joined the family team in 1976. Their children, Chris, Becky, and Susan, joined the sales team one at a time between 1986 and 2000.
As the years passed and more family members joined the team, it was only a matter of time until the next generation entered the picture. A member of the fifth generation – Fred’s great-great granddaughter and Susan’s daughter, Rachel Miller – joined the business in 2009 and started decorating for the business in 2012.
“Rachel just received her degree in marketing and management from Rhoades State in Lima last year,” explains Marthanne, “and she is our main buyer and decorator, along with her mother, Susan. She loves working with customers to choose fabric and color designs for their homes.”
Lehmann’s displays are set up as rooms would be in a house – unique and comfortable, allowing customers to visualize the possibilities in their own homes. Brands include some that are recognizable to most homeowners, along with some more contemporary choices.
The bulk of Lehmann’s offerings are products of La-Z-Boy Comfort Studio (Lehmann’s is the largest La-Z-Boy dealer in the area) and Hickorycraft Quality Upholstery. Chairs, recliners, and sofas are available in both fabric and leather upholstery, including the popular distressed leather look.
Besides these companies, Lehmann’s also features products from Riverside, John Thomas Furniture, and the collections of American Drew. In addition to chairs and sofas, these companies also supply tables of all sizes (from dining room sets to occasional tables), sectionals, ottomans, home office furniture, benches, and bookshelves.
There are also beautiful accent pieces available at Lehmann’s. Art pieces and hangings for walls, clocks, lamps, decorative boxes, vases – the list goes on and on. No matter your taste in artistic pieces for the home, you can find a sample of the most popular styles today.
And this is where Lehmann’s decorator staff comes in! If your home needs updating, or you’d like it to better reflect your personal taste and style, Rachel and Susan can help. They will come to your home to assess your spaces and work with you to make the rooms in your home a real statement of your personality. Special orders are no problem – Lehmann’s Furniture aims to make their customers happy with their choices.
“Our goal is to help set up your room the way you would dream of having it,” Rachel says. “We work with all different types of styles, from contemporary to traditional to transitional. We will even take things you already own and incorporate some new things into the design.
“You can stop by the store and choose from a large selection of pictures, lamps, pillows, and other accessories. Take them home first to see if they are the direction you’d like to go, and we’ll help incorporate them into your design when we come to your home.”
To make things complete, Lehmann’s also offers flooring for your home. “We consider our flooring department one of our specialties,” remarks Marthanne. “All installation is done by our installer, Mike Berelsman. He’s worked with us for over forty years.”
Flooring choices include tile, hardwood plank, waterproof carpet, vinyl, laminate, and even stone. They work with such companies as Armstrong Flooring, Shaw Floors, and Metroflor. Lehmann’s has recently enlarged their flooring department with many new styles to choose from.
Whether you’re furnishing a new home from scratch or just looking for some items to update and brighten your home for the coming warm weather, Lehmann’s Furniture is ready to help you find what you’re looking for. The family-friendly atmosphere is low pressure, and the sales team is very knowledgeable about their products.
Lehmann’s Furniture is proud to be in business nearly seventy years, with five generations of their family serving the Delphos area. The store is open from 10 to 5:30 Monday through Friday and 9 to 3 on Saturday. Lehmann’s is closed on Sundays to allow their family (who already work together) to enjoy each other.
130 N. Main Street
Delphos, OH 45833