Lien’s Jewelry pays tribute to its past, host communities
By Sue Sitter
Fred and Sheri Lien, Minot, stopped by Rugby’s City Hall Monday afternoon with a special thank you times 115 to the community their business called home for over 50 of its 115 years.
The Liens presented Mayor Sue Steinke and City of Rugby office staff with 115 sugar cookies, decorated with white icing and the name of their store, Lien’s Jewelry.
“There aren’t a lot of businesses that can say they’ve been in business for 115 years, and those that have, typically aren’t necessarily in the same family. So, we’ve been here four generations, and a lot of that was in Rugby,” said Sheri Lien.
“It was in 1938 that the first location of Lien’s Jewelry started in Rugby. So, we wanted to do something special; to say thank you to the communities that have supported us for all these years. We wanted to go to the service sectors of our community, and share some cookies, just as a way to say, ‘Thanks,'” Sheri Lien continued.
Lien’s husband, Fred, is the great-grandson of the store’s founder, O.S. Lien, who began the jewelry business in 1903, locating in the town of Omemee in Bottineau County.
Fred Lien said that after the business moved to Bottineau, the family relocated to Rugby, opening their store in 1938.
Fred Lien’s grandparents bought J.G. Johnson’s Jewelry store, opening their own downtown “where the driveway to Merchant’s Bank is now,” he said.
A clock in front of the store served as a landmark in town for many years.
“If I’m not mistaken, there are some old pictures of Rugby that have the clock, and that’s at the museum,” said Steinke.
“Fred’s family donated that clock to the museum,” Sheri Lien said.
Fred Lien said his family’s store moved to two more locations when it was in Rugby.
“The second store was on the corner up the street Main Street Boutique is there now,” Fred Lien said.
The third Lien’s Jewelry store operated where Holly’s Stitches is now located.
The Liens said they came up with the unique idea to celebrate 115 years in business after brainstorming with employees.
“We said, what can we do? What can we do to give back?” Sheri Lien recalled.
The Liens contacted Cookies for You, Minot, for help with their idea to give treats to the communities that supported them.
“We wanted to do this for the 10 weeks leading up to Thanksgiving,” said Sheri Lien, touching on the “thank you” theme. “So, every Monday, we’ll be going somewhere (in the area), through the Monday before Thanksgiving and visit our service sector, vital parts of our community.”
The Liens plan to visit Bottineau as well, “because that’s where everything originally started,” Sheri Lien said.
“Well, originally, we started in Omemee, but that doesn’t exist anymore,” she said with a slightly rueful laugh.
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