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The M.W. Tanner Company: An Album

“The M.W. Tanner Company have [sic.] the reputation of dealing in as fine of grade of dry goods as is sold by any dealers in the state, and enjoy a good trade in that line.” James C. Mills. History of Saginaw, County, Michigan

Located at 112 -126 N. Franklin with another entrance at 311-313 E. Genesee, the M. W. Tanner Company was organized in 1905. Its predecessor, the Saginaw Dry Goods Company, was located on the first floor of the adjoining Bearinger Building. M.W. Tanner closed in 1931. In 1957, Leath’s Furniture moved into much of the space that had been occupied by Tanners. They remained until the building was demolished in the early 1970s.

This album provides a glimpse into the history of the M.W. Tanner Company Store:

- Architectural rendering of the Bearinger Building from the Museum’s collection. The first floor of the Bearinger Building was originally occupied by the Saginaw Dry Goods Company. In 1905, the Saginaw Dry Goods Company was reorganized as the M.W. Tanner Company and moved to the building in the far right of this drawing.

- Postcard view of the interior of the store, after 1905.

- Advertising for the store, c. 1922.

- The 1921 Saginaw Woman’s Club’s Gladiolus show is believed to be on display in the café at Tanner’s Store.

- View of 100 Block of North Franklin.

- This drapery fabric was purchased at the M.W. Tanner Company in the 1920s.

Note: (2023 Update) Since this piece was written, we have found the building wasn’t demolished until 1984. After Leath’s Furniture closed its downtown store, it served as the site for the downtown People’s Market and a venue for police and surplus property auctions held by the City of Saginaw.


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