My small town Hardware store

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by rusty stove, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. rusty stove

    rusty stove Guide

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    Picked up a hand powered 5" grinder that mounts to a table/bench at the local Hardware store. This store has been in business since around 1872.
    An old brick building with oak plank floors, a pot belly stove and some things that havent been made in probaly 50 years or more. The only place I know of that sells a cider press- there is a Peavey and cane poles- cast iron skillets and stuff that used to be made in the USA with handwritten price tags covered with dust. I wish there were more places like it- If you have any gems like this please share because I fear soon they will be Big Box Stored out of existance- a part of Americana that I don't want to see go away.

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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  2. donk

    donk Guide Bushclass I

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    I absolutely love going to old Hardware Stores! There's a few in my area. Some are thriving buisnesses because of good service and dedicated patrons, some are just too stubborn to close. All of them have some VERY cool stuff.
    Thanks, Donk.
     
  3. Creek Walker

    Creek Walker Guide

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    Yeah they're all gone in my area. All the hardware and rural general stores.

    I miss the days of sitting around drinking coffee and soda or going into the back room and playing pea pool with the old timers who have gone too. :(
     
  4. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine bush nut Supporter Bushclass I

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    Thanks Love The Old Hardware stores, Slowly dying. I remember The Large jars with pickled eggs, pigs feet. The Smells and If the They did not have it You did no t need it.
    Thanks for the Post rusty stove.
     
  5. Panzer

    Panzer Prepared Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    Where is this gem at!
     
  6. redmech

    redmech Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    My Mom had given me a gift certificate to Sears for Christmas. Earlier today I walked into my local Sears to see about getting a table top belt sander. I had seen them in there a year or so ago. The lady working the counter looked at me like she didn't know what I was looking for, and kind of walked by the power tools looking at me like she knew this was power tools, and was hoping I would see what I needed. They did not have what I was wanting, and she didn't have a clue what I was looking for, nor did she have any idea of what products her store had. I wish I had one of those quality stores still around here.
     
  7. redmech

    redmech Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Love the old man sitting off to the side in one of the pics. Priceless
     
  8. 556mp

    556mp Bushmaster Vendor Bushclass I

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    That's awesome. I remember a few stores like that growing up, but they are all gone now...
     
  9. Trekon86

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    We have a few around here like that. Two at least, that I know of. Both are overpriced but that is the nature of the beast. I like to buy from them whenever I can afford to...even if they are high priced.
    Support your local business, folks! Else, there won't be such a thing as small business ten years from now. At least...not legal, taxpaying ones:D

    PMZ
     
  10. Kentuckycamper

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    The old hardware store with the creaky old wood floor. Always the old guy there that knows where to find that one obscure part on the top shelf in the last isle that has been there for forty years. Fair price and friendly service. Big box can never replace that personal service.
     
  11. rusty stove

    rusty stove Guide

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    It is right off East Main St. (SR40) as you head east towards Pataskala
    blink and you would miss it.

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  12. LANE4

    LANE4 Scout

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    I wish I could buy from there and support a small store like that.

    Think he'd ship a boys axe to IL?
     
  13. pierre girard

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    The local True Value Hdwr in Two Harbors, MN, is pretty good. I am able to find a lot of things there that I can't find at Menards or Home Depot, especially brass, copper and stainless steel fasteners for boat building.

    When I'm looking for really old tools, I'm still missing Berger Hardware in Superior, WI. In the 1970s, to build a log house, I needed log dogs and a Norwegian scribe. I found them, along with a great many other things, at Berger Hardware. When I built a buggy harness, I found all the buckels and other hardware at Berger.

    Contents of the store were auctioned off, March 26, 1999.

    Here is a story from 1994:

    http://attic.areavoices.com/2012/01/21/superiors-berger-hardware/
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  14. 556mp

    556mp Bushmaster Vendor Bushclass I

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    Nope, but unfortunatly it can put them out of buisness.....
     
  15. Iz

    Iz MEMBER of a BANNED Vendor Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    Great post, man!
     
  16. solocanoe

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    My great uncle ran a 'general store' - I remember he closed it in 79. very sad.
    it was his dad's and started in the depression.

    there was always a few old timers sitting around the stove in the back corner....and basically everything else everyone has said. The town never did get a wal-mart....it's only a town of about 300....but the next town over did....and as he was fond of saying "that....was that."

    too cool some are still around!
     
  17. hkgonra

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  18. scallop

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    I know that store well, I live in Pickerington, just one town over from Reynoldsburg. We used to have a great hardware store here too but it was "boxed" out many years ago. Replaced by a Sears. No personality, Nobody knows their rear from a hole in the ground and a distinct lack of customer service.
     
  19. smokewalker

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    Thanks for posting a rare gem It brought back some fond memories of my child hood going to a Hardware store much like that one with my Dad or Grand dad. I seem to remember a few Bib overall wearing old timers drinking coffee playing checkers and chewing tobacco by the stove too.
     
  20. Kinggoat

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    There will always be something special about those old hardware stores. I remember riding my bike 5 miles one way with my little brother so we could go buy target arrows at one. It was like finding undiscovered treasure every time we went there. We have a decent hardware store in the town I live in.
     
  21. rusty stove

    rusty stove Guide

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    yep- thats it- I think one of the youngins set it up for him. He is a good old guy- he is getting up there in years- i'm sure he has a ton of great stories- just has a hard time catchin his breath. There is a wall in the back with old draw knives, various other old tools like a coal mine pick and such that are to look at but not for sale. I saw some wind up Timex alarm clocks that probably havent been sold in decades still new in the box gathering coal dust.
    There are old yellowed plastic bottles of Hoppes gun oil in there that have probably been there since the 70's. Like several previous in this thread have said- this takes me back to trips with my dad and granddad.
     
  22. rusty stove

    rusty stove Guide

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    Hello Picktown- yep- right off Lancaster Ave as headed to 256.
    You might appreciate this story- a few years back during one of those
    March heavy wet snow storms, everyone was flocking to the Big Chain stores to try to find snow shovels- to no avail because they were all sold out.
    The old craftsman one I had broke- I drove over there and bought a steel one- heavy- but it will outlast me.
     
  23. OddTheViking

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    Closest thing I know of are True Value and Ace. I'll take them any day over the big box stores, even if I have to pay a little more.
     
  24. LANE4

    LANE4 Scout

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    I agree but they still sell Chinese tools. I can even buy an American made axe there.
     
  25. brian

    brian Scout

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    I work for a local small town feed/seed hardware store. It has been owned by the same family for over 80 years. We sell a little bit of everything. like the store pictured, We heat it with a wood stove and the place has alot of character and history to it that the big box stores will never duplicate. Everyone who works there is from the Town and our Customers are like friends. We treat everyone the same whether it is a 1000 dollar order or a 1.00 order. Our Customers are appreciated by us! I will always try my best to support any local independant store whenever possible. Once they are gone they ain't comming back.
     
  26. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    we've got one left like that, up in Leesville, LA... it's called "Imperial Hardware"... you can still get one wheelbarrow handle, nails by the pound, cast iron anything, hand pumps, all kinds of stuff... comes complete with one friendly old guy, one grouchy old guy in a chair by the space heater, and a store cat who lays wherever he wants to. love going in there!
     
  27. Sawdust and Splinters

    Sawdust and Splinters Scout Bushclass I

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    We have a few scattered out here in Iowa. They are the place to go when you want a good old quality tool. Often the ones with some of the old tools realy are not priced to bad, they just put what is close to current price on the older tool, which is much better quality.
     
  28. Weltz4u

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    We still have several of those small town hardware stores around this area. Make me want to go out and visit a few
     
  29. Sar5

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    Very well said! I miss these treasures as well. The last one to close had everything in it. The only hardware store the whole family did not mind going too!
     
  30. mjackson35746

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    haha you described my local hardware store perfect! love going in there the "old man" still calls me kid nicest guy ever in there
     
  31. fatcat55

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    Hardware stores are the only stores that can sell anything and it won't seem odd or out of place.
    I grew up shopping in such a store with the poor lighting and old ceiling fans and the creaky wooden floors, the old glass display cases and stock on shelves and hanging from the ceiling.
    You could buy one of anything or a dozen or a gross (might have to order it for you!). You could buy a couple slices of bologna and a piece of "rat cheese" and a "stick" of saltines and then go to the other side of the store and watch the domino game.

    Those were the days. Thanks for the reminder of how blessed those of us are who remember those stores and how doubly blessed are those who can still patronize such a mercantile!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  32. Kentuckycamper

    Kentuckycamper Scout

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    I have been in a hundred of them.....all a bit different while also just alike.

    I travel a lot around the eastern US and have slowly watched as most small traditional businesses have withered. Even most local diners and greasy spoons have been replaced by the chain restaurants. I fear our culture is going a bit bland sometimes, they call it progress. But occasionally you run into one of the surviving old places and for a few minutes it feels you like you are back home.
     
  33. wolfy

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    When I was a kid I could buy a nickel's worth of shingle nails, bulk and weighed out on a beam scale in a brown paper bag, Remington .22 LR's for $.01/cartridge and red roll-crimped Federal high-brass paper shotgun shells for $.10/shell. Kids couldn't afford whole boxes, so old Harry Millie would keep open boxes behind the counter and sell them to us piecemeal. That's where my $5.95 Plumb scout hatchet and first Barlow came from too......I about burned holes in the display, gazing at those shiny new knives in that old glass case. Smelled good in there, too!
     
  34. Combat-Trout

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    Damn that brings back memories of going every Saturday morning with my dad to get things to fix whatever broke during the week. Sadly the places I grew up with in SoCal are gone, replaced by more used car lots...

    There are a few small ones up in Wyoming, they're all Ace but they still have some cool stuff and are a whole lot closer then the next state when you need to fix something.

    The last time I was in a Sears the tools people were useless, and then I discovered that most craftsman tools even a lot of the hand tools are now made in china. Sad... We're losing one of our sears stores, the good one, to mall expansion. All we have left is SearsGrand, which is indistinguishable from kmart and about as disorganized and dirty... The end of an era...
     
  35. Trail Dust

    Trail Dust Scout

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    I DEARLY miss the old hardware stores. They always seemed to have what I needed! Now, I have to run all over the country, burn $120.00 in gas looking for a $6.00 item! When I grow weary of chasing down what doesn't seem to exist, I go order it online and end up paying far too much when the shipping cost is figured in. Can't win for losin'.

    The old Miller Hardware Store started when Miller pulled off the Oregon Trail and began providing farming supplies for the settlers. The Miller supply tent became a building and, that building stood until after I left the military in the late 1970's. Wood floors, potbelly stove surrounded by several antique Windsor wood chairs seated with retired grey-haired gentlemen, large windows to allow natural light to filter in, plenty of well-aged dust that covered everything and, KNOWLEDGEABLE employees that knew where EVERYTHING was and what it was for. How grand it was! Too, Miller's great grandson was a very good friend of mine. Together, when business was slow, we often explored the long gun rack, the knife case, camping, hunting, fishing supplies, and the bicycle parts. 'Pure heaven', so we thought then. The big box stores came to town with their wholesale pricing, and several generations of 'family owned' disappeared into history. IMO, America lost much of its unique and worthwhile identity when greed and new business models won out. Our kids will never know what they missed out on. :)
     
  36. wrbthe3rd

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    i have one local myself but since the flood in sept,its still getting back up and running,rumor has it ,they might close anyway,it will be a shame.
     
  37. ewtoutdoors

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    I know what you are talking about, we had a small hardware store in the neighborhood. It was owned by an old man and he was the only employee. He replaced glass and screens for windows and doors in the back. You could barley walk in the store with so many boxes around and stuff hanging all over. All with 30 years of dust on them. If you brought something in or gave a good explanation of what you needed, he would dig behind a box, under a shelf or in a corner would pull it out blow the dust off and it was just what you were looking for. Would usually have an old fadded pricet sticker on it. Now we have the HD and L big box home improvement stores. I miss having the guy up the corner and it was great because he always had a story to go along with what you were buying.
     
  38. Frontier211

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    Sadly the one I grew up with closed a couple of years ago. If we keep shopping these places they can stay open. Real treasures.
     
  39. Cahlan

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    The town I lived in, in Western Mass had one. building looked like the type of craftsman ship that none of the newer box stores have. I'm about positive the lady behind the counter told me one time that her father opened the store when she was a little girl and i'm sure she is about 80ish now. Oh yeah penny candy too, that actually cost a penny a piece, first time I went there I was blown away.
     
  40. saxon

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    Good man! Buying local is always a good idea.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  41. Metalguy

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    I just found an old stove like that today for $40! Gonna rebuild it and sell it hopefully. Very cool!
     
  42. rusty stove

    rusty stove Guide

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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  43. Phillip Gooch

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    Love it. I remember when i was growing up we had one by our old Red and White store it closed down because of Lowes but they are opening a new one soon Can't WAIT. you can find some of the coolest things in them mom and pops hardware stores.
     
  44. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

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    That's too bad. At least they lasted longer than most.
     
  45. Wolf410

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    We have maybe two of those left near me, one has had to branch more out into lawn and yard stuff rather than hardware but the other was pretty good for a while, sadly when he started only carrying Chinese axe and tool handles I kinda stopped going in there...sorry to hear that you losing yours brother
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  46. rdec

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    We had one in my hometown - 4th generation as I recall. There wa a farm store a couple of towns over that sold hardware and animal feed. My dad and I would stop there every so often. The kids liked to play around the hay bales on the ground floor. Upstairs was the pot-belly stove, a few chairs and a cracker barrel. These were the round type you could break in half like a clamshell. They sold by the pound but you could grab one without charge.

    My hometown also had a Five & Dime, two, actually, where there were things you could actually buy for a nickle when I was a boy. There was a Woolworths and the family owned "little store". The little store had shelves stacked 10' high with roller ladders on each side. You got stuff off the middle shelf with the long-handle clamps. Great places.

    Despite all of the electronics and fancy gadgets our culture isn't getting bland - it IS bland. To compare how things used to be I suggest reading just about any book by Eric Sloane. For instance, when churches had real bells and a sexton to ring them do you know the difference between tolling, ringing and pealing?
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  47. Fat Old Man

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    Please post locations of these stores!!!
     
  48. perdidochas

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    We've got one. It's doing ok under new owners (about 5 yrs or so), because it does things better than the big box. Now, the previous owners almost ran it into the ground, because they were rude, and didn't have the wierd little things that no one else has (and didn't have a lot of the things commonly needed as well).
     
  49. rusty stove

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    7345 E Main St Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
     
  50. jorg0370

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    There was a True Value store nearby when I was a kid Dad used to pickup kerosene for the heaters every Friday. We had a Woolsworth's too, funny how I used to suddenly get hungry every time I stepped foot in the door and saw the long diner table. Both stores relocated after three box stores came to town, and they both closed shop not long after that.
    The Old Forge Hardware, though, looks just like the pictures from the OP.
     

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