More than two decades have passed since Youngstown lost its beloved Strouss' Department Store. But Youngstowners can still taste those incomparable chocolate malts, see the dramatic view from the store's mezzanine and feel the excitement of the annual Thanksgiving Day parade. The story of Strouss' kept pace with the powerful trends that defined Youngstown as a whole. This was especially true during the boom years of the early twentieth century, when the store was the shopping hub in a community known as "America's Ruhr Valley." But the city changed, and Strouss' changed with it. In this unprecedented historical narrative, Welsh and Geltz dig deep into Strouss' past to uncover a dramatic story that will surprise--and delight--Youngstowners of all ages.
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Thomas G. Welsh Jr. is an independent scholar and professional writer and editor based in Youngstown, Ohio. He is a member of the advisory board of "Steel Valley Voices," a web-based project to promote awareness of the community's diversity, and also serves on the Exhibit Advisory Board of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society. He is the author of Closing Chapters: Urban Change, Religious Reform, and the Decline of Youngstown's Catholic Elementary Schools (Lexington Books, 2011), which describes factors that led to the collapse of a parochial school system. Examples of his research have appeared in the American Educational History Journal. Before completing a doctorate in cultural foundations of education at Kent State University in 2009, he worked as a journalist in the United States, South Korea and Cambodia.
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