Not just a hardware store - one hundred years of sales, service and tradition! M.C. Gay began selling farm equipment from his farm in Sugar Hollow, PA in 1913. As the business began to prosper he, along with his son, moved the business into a building in Tunkhannock and then to an old opera house there. It soon expanded to a complete hardware store carrying a full line of household goods and farming needs.
He was a well known person throughout the area due to his extensive service to the county and organizations and musical groups. In 1929 a fire completely destroyed the building and the entire stock of merchandise. The business then moved across the road to the old woolen mill. It has been there until this year when it moved closer into town.
I have been there often and was always amazed at the variety of goods available. The reason it has moved again is obvious but a bit sad. You see, the business in the old woolen mill building was very susceptible to flooding. The first major flood was in 1936 with six more in 1972, 1975, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2011. They were all terrible with a huge amount of goods being destroyed. The Susquehanna River flows directly through town and underneath a large bridge.
The hardware store was moved and the old building torn down. *See Video.
100 years is a tremendous milestone and honor for this small town hardware store that has endured so much and has given back enormously to the community. The entire family has worked in this hardware business at sometime through the years since 1913.
We visited the new store and I was amazed at the interior. I will go again soon and take pictures to show you what I mean. Another 30 mile one way trip will happen quickly. It was a thrill to see the interior displays and also the remembrances of its history throughout. I can't wait to go back! Now…what do I need there? They have it ALL! There is even lawn equipment and a sporting goods department.
Confession: I was brought up with a regular hardware-store-visiting-dad and still love to run my fingers through the bins of washers, nuts and bolts!