The Dightman's Story
Don Dightman worked as a machinist for a firm on the Tacoma tideflats until automation meant looking for another career. A downtown Christian book store needed a new owner and in 1961, Don took the challenge.
Don "grew" the downtown location as he learned the business and doubled his floorspace. In 1970, a move to the Lincoln district provided lots of room in an old pool hall. This 38th and Yakima location grew with the addition of a parking lot, warehouse, and a two-story addition to the back of the store.
In 1981, Don passed on and left the business to his wife Margaret and the family. Managers attended to the day-to-day operations with Margaret overseeing to maintain the Dightman vision of service and ministry. Several branch locations were added over the years to reach the greater Tacoma area.
In 1993, Donna Dightman Baker, the youngest of Don and Margaret's three children, came back to supervise the next major move for the store. The main store and three branch stores were all closed to bring Tacoma a superstore on 38th and Cedar, close to the mall. Included in this new location were a Deli and a performance/banquet room.
A Lacey location in the Hawks Prairie area was opened in November 1994.
The Cedar Street store became the hub of the Christian Community from 1995 through 2001. However, business was severely effected from January through October of 2001 while the 38th Street freeway bridge was completely demolished and rebuilt. Also, during that time the events of September 11th and the recession caused additional hardships. With rents going up while sales were going down, it became impossible to to maintain the big store.
The owners of the building agreed to release Dightman's from the remaining years of the lease and the owners of Michael's Plaza welcomed us into a space that they had available. In January 2002, we closed the Lacey store which was at the end of its' lease, moved the Lacey bookshelves into our new location at Michael's Plaza during the first week of February, and opened for business on February 19th.
Our new location is much smaller, but because we are able to utilize two rooms and lots of wall space, we are still able to carry most of the product that was available at the big store. Customers have commented that they love the new location. It is cozy and has a warm, peaceful atmosphere.
We still struggle with financial debts that were encumbered by the hardships of 2001. We thank the several hundred people that made contributions that enabled us to accomplish our move. We believe that God will provide a way for us to clear remaining debts. It is vital that we stay in business in the years to come. The mission to provide Christian resources during these troubled times is overwhelming. Your prayer and support are greatly appreciated!