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Moving on over

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By Stephen Lega

Nearly 20 years ago, Dale Royse bought an empty lot on Main Street in Lebanon.

Even then, he saw potential for the site down the road.

"It was part of our plan if ever there was an expansion," Royce said.

The expansion finally occurred a few years ago, and, Clyde's moved into its new building, with an extra 1,000 square feet of floor space, during Labor Day weekend in 2006.

The improvement to the store - and to the block where it stands - were noticeable enough that Clyde's Shoe Store received the 2007 Business Beautification award from the Lebanon-Marion County Chamber of Commerce.

Monica Pickerill was one of two people who nominated the store for the award. (The other was anonymous, according to the chamber office.)

"It takes a lot of guts to look at our downtown and not only say, 'I'm going to stay downtown', but to build a new building," Pickerill said.

Royse served as chairman of the Lebanon Main Street Committee for 12 years.

"I'm very much aware and believe in the importance of maintaining downtown," he said. "It's the focal point of a community."

In August of 1989, the E.H. Campbell building, that once stood where Clyde's Shoes is located, was torn down. Then-owner Margaret George had the building leveled for safety reasons, according to the Aug. 30, 1989, edition of the Enterprise.

Clyde's Shoe Store was at 215 W. Main Street at the time of the demolition.

The empty lot sat in the middle of the 200 block of West Main Street for decades.

Pickerill said the lot had become an eyesore, until the new Clyde's was built. The design of the new building is "awesome", she said.

"Clyde's is a downtown fixture, and it will be for generations to come," Pickerill said.

The shoe store was started by Ruth and Clyde Royse in 1941. The current location, 225 W. Main, is the sixth location in the history of the business.

Royse and his wife, Judy, know many people are working to revitalize downtown Lebanon, and they were happy to make a contribution to that effort.

And, so are their customers.

"We still get compliments every week," Judy said. "We do appreciate the award."