It is hard to believe that Kingsway Center used to be THE mall in Midland, long before Midland Park Mall even stuck a shovel in the ground to be built.

The name of the former mall was Dellwood Mall and had several stores in it and actually had the indoor part of the mall open.

Shops not only opened out on the parking lot but you could also access all the stores from inside the mall.

That is no longer the case and where the health department is used to be another leg of the mall and more stores.

Some of the stores that used to be in the Dellwood Mall were Dunlap's, and you can still see the arched entrances for Dunlap's on the current building. That is the northeast corner of the shopping center.

There was also a grocery store call M System that occupied the west end of the mall where Richard Milburn Academy and the bingo hall are now.

I grew up on Thomas which is the street on the west side of the shopping center so as a kid I used to walk over to the mall all the time and play on the coin-operated horses and go to the soda fountain area of Kresge's, which was what K-Mart was known as before changing its name in 1977.

There was also a Firestone in the part that is now Family Dollar, and Thornton's was on the backside where the health department and senior center is now.

There was also a Baskin-Robbins where a barbershop is now.

This was quite the wonderland for a kid that grew up just a few feet from the mall and it is sad for me to see that it is just a shell of what it used to be back in its heyday in the 50s and 60s.


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