Author Topic: The small town hardware store  (Read 5997 times)

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Offline Nolatoolguy

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Re: The small town hardware store
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2011, 01:53:22 PM »
Wow, you guys have some cool stories about hardware stores. the fading away of the stores that built america. Not no big boxes.

Its just sad to see them fail.
And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

Offline Dakota Woodworker

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Re: The small town hardware store
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2011, 12:42:54 PM »
The nearest big box store to us is a couple of hours away. In our little town we have a Hardware Hanks that I have come to just love. The owners are a young couple that also farm and are very active in the community. I can get most anything I need there or they will order it for me and have it in just a few days. The store has been in the same location for many, many years and their business is doing quite well.
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Online Papaw

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Re: The small town hardware store
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2011, 03:22:50 PM »
That's the best kind, and it is good that they are young and know how to run a real hardware store.
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Offline Stoney

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Re: The small town hardware store
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2011, 05:00:44 PM »
That is great Dakota Woodworker.  It's a change to hear that kind of news.
"Never laugh at live dragons" Bilbo Baggins "The
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Offline Branson

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Re: The small town hardware store
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2011, 05:17:35 PM »
Great news!  I imagine I'm not much different from the rest of us -- I'd rather pay a little more and buy from somebody I can get to know, and keep the money in local wallets.  I don't like the anonymous, impersonal feel of the Box Stores.   My closest hardware is an Ace, but it's still owned by the Cook family who started it umpteen years and several generations ago.

Offline scottg

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Re: The small town hardware store
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2011, 05:46:46 PM »
Here in Camp, we had no hardware at all for some time.
 The local Tribe bought out the old hardware then ran it promptly into the ground so bad they closed it. The government gives them all the money they want to start businesses, but no further money to run them (except the clinic).
 So they buy any building or business that comes up for sale and start another  "family wellness center" or whatever else made up title fictitious business.
 Then close it after 3 months when the startup money runs out.
 The hardware lasted longer. But eventually it went under too.
 So we had nothing.

 Well Charlotte was retiring. She owned Evans Mercantile, a business that started in the 1880's. It has been though many hands, but still alive.
  A new couple to town wanted it and continue selling Levis and thread and bolts of cotton and the same stuff Evan's has always sold for the last 130 years.   
 Except we needed a hardware store!!
  So we made them convert the back 1/2 of the store!! Seems every one of us hammered on them until they gave in.
  It was working too. The store was up and running in a few months and we were all guiding thm into what was all needed.
 But then the new guy got in a fight with Cooley and Pollard, the traditional hardware connection out at the county seat.  Greedy bastards C&P,  but they can be reasoned with by a reasonable man.  And they are only company who would --ever-- deliver goods to Camp at all.
   So what little stock is left is mostly picked over.  The owner still drives the river road once in a while for supplies, but it'll never work trying to supply a hardware himself!
   sigh 
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Offline rusty

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Re: The small town hardware store
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2011, 06:02:30 PM »
>But then the new guy got in a fight with Cooley and Pollard...

You are getting closer to the truth. it is not all the fault of customers going to big box stores. The wholesalers who supplied the little hardware stores are largely no more. many of them succumed to greed, victims of the take over and milk it to death madness. Others decided to force all their customers to franchise or loose their suppliers, then crammed imported junk at them till they were selling the same junk as the big box stores at higher prices.
It's not easy running a small hardware store anymore, it's not very lucrative, the only reason to do it is because you love hardware, and there aren't all that many folks left who think that working 10 hour days for a tiny income shoving heavy stuff around and dealing with the general public is fun...
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Offline Stoney

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Re: The small town hardware store
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2011, 05:07:04 PM »
AMEN!!!!!!!
"Never laugh at live dragons" Bilbo Baggins "The
Hobbit"

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
-Thomas Edison

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Offline Stoney

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Re: The small town hardware store
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2011, 05:51:57 PM »
As Lewter Hardware was holding their Christmas brunch (buy while you munch), I thought the time was right to show my favorite hardware store.

The two story section is the original store and took over the two adjacent stores as they grew.  Lewter's has been in business for 87 years and are now run by the third and fourth generations.


Warehouse across the street.


Entry through the side door. Note the red table loaded with goodies, is only one of several.  I took this shot early or you would only see wall to wall people in the shot.  As we say in the south, you couldn't stir them with a stick, latter on.
In the feed store section of our old hardware store ( the section that is 85 years old), there are measurements still to be seen on the old wood floor. Used for rope, chain, fence, whatever.
Here's the way they mark measurements at Lewters.

For more see http://s467.photobucket.com/albums/rr40/plantshepherdplus/Tool%20Talk%20Lewter%20Hardware/
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 05:53:40 PM by Stoney »
"Never laugh at live dragons" Bilbo Baggins "The
Hobbit"

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
-Thomas Edison

http://www.plantshepherdplus.com

Offline rudeawakening55

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Re: The small town hardware store
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2011, 05:50:20 AM »
  Have enjoyed reading all the interesting stories of old hardware stores. Well where I grew up in the Dakota's the old hardware store is still open barely. It started in the late 1800's as a hardware store plus a funeral parlor. They still have the old horse drawn hearse in storage. It also has an old rope freight elevator to take larger items upstairs to cold storage. In time it turned into just a hardware store. Over the long yrs. it has only had three owners, the original first one then a father & know his son is running it. But has to go into some other trades to keep the doors barely open. Times are tuff in the small communities as the school is gone & also the grocery store is closed. The only thing still there are the post office & one bar. I enjoy history & information on old small towns USA

Offline Stoney

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Re: The small town hardware store
« Reply #25 on: December 25, 2011, 09:24:24 AM »
Rudeawakening55 you said they still had the old rope elevator.  In the 3rd Lewter picture, at the end of the goodie table is a large yellow X.  That is the landing for the rope elevator.
You said that the hardware store was also a funeral parlor.  My GrandPaw drove the horse drawn hearse for the Gurley Funeral Parlor that was also a part of the Gurley Hardware.
"Never laugh at live dragons" Bilbo Baggins "The
Hobbit"

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
-Thomas Edison

http://www.plantshepherdplus.com

Offline Nolatoolguy

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Re: The small town hardware store
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2012, 02:45:56 PM »
Wow you guys got some cool stories.

I would love to open a hardware store down the road, but I just dont know how I could possibly compete with the big boxes.
And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

Offline pritch

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Re: The small town hardware store
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2012, 10:08:29 AM »
We have a mercantile in our town. It's been open in the same building for over a hundred years. Just yesterday, I was at the meat counter talking with the owner. The conversation went something like this:

"Jim, I'll have a half pound of sliced smoked turkey. And did you tell me one time that Redwing don't make boots in half-sizes bigger than 12?"

"Yeah-that's right. They go from 12 to 13"

"Well, I got the 13s last time, and they were too big, and the 12s are too small. And a half pound of sliced roast beef".

"Maybe try wider. You can get them almost as wide as they are long."

"A dozen slices of that chedder, too. OK, order me a pair of 12s as wide as you can get them. And a pound of link sausage."

"All right, I'll get those coming. They should be in next week. Anything else?"

"No, that'll do it."

I can't really imagine what it would be like without places like this.

This place has an old rope elevator, too. You walk right past it if you come in the back door.



This is the outside, during our town's annual car show in the summer.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2012, 10:18:56 AM by pritch »