Q: Why is your store called Dancing Bear? Are you Grateful Dead fans?
A: While being Deadheads would make for a much more interesting story, here’s the real, honest-to-Bear truth:
Back in the day, when Tom was making wooden toys and doing the craft show circuit, we called our business Timber Toys. In 2000, when we were eyeing our first retail space, we knew we needed a name that wasn’t wood-exclusive. Our brainstorming session took place in our home office, which is bordered with a wallpaper reproduction of the “Dancing Bears” folk art painting by William H. Beard. One of us looked up and said “How about Dancing Bear Toys?”
Q: What was located at 12 North Market Street before Dancing Bear?
A: American Speedy was at this location before the Bear moved in the summer of 2003.
Other occupants over the years include a harness and tackle shop; tobacconist; C. E. Cline Carpets; H. O. James, a tailoring and dyeing business; Keller, Keller & Staup men’s clothing; Dorsey & Co. Clothiers; and, from 1909-1911, the Marvel movie theater. Williamson’s Drug Store, which opened around 1869, moved to this location in 1934 and was joined by Rhoderick Brothers Confectionary in 1943. The Village Soda Fountain and Restaurant opened at 12 North Market in 1963, later moving to Patrick Street where Café Nola is now located.