Yesterday I got a call from Bryant’s Hardware. The things I ordered last week had arrived. I couldn’t get them yesterday, so I swung by after work today.

I talked to Bill, the proprietor while I was there. He’s a very friendly guy. I asked him how long the place had been in his family, and he told me that his grandparents had bought it in 1921. He’s hoping he’ll be able to keep it open another nine years to make it up to 100.

Now I’m sure the store has already been there for over 100 years – it was an ongoing operation when his grandparents bought the place. Here’s what I love about the place:

Black bear cub

Black bear cub

He wasn’t sure where this bear had come from. I guess it has been in the store all his life. He said his grandparents were into hunting, and it was possible they had taken this cub – and if so, it would have been after taking its mother. A cub can’t live on its own. On the other hand, it could have been there when his grandparents bought the store.

However it ended up there, it certainly does add character to the store. To the right of the bear is a framed calendar. I zoomed in on the full-res version of the photo, and was able to see some detail.



This uploaded, cropped version is at full resolution, so you can zoom in on it too if you are so inclined. The thing I noticed was that the calendar is dated 1924. It can be used again in 2036 (which is also a leap year).

Who knew you could make a living doing electrical work in 1924? I didn’t. I find it interesting that Mr Forger sold “Marda Lamps and Fixtures and Radio Supplies.” Both Guglielmo Marconi (inventor of the radio) and Thomas Edison (light bulb) were still alive in 1924.

I Googled “Archie+Forger+electrical” and it turned up this story from The Nashua Telegraph. The lesson here is, don’t warm cans of varnish on a stove.

I paid for my order and we chatted for a bit. I wanted to see what kind of rope he had, because I buy a fair amount of rope for the Pathfinders. Jonathan was outside waiting in the car, and then some other customers came in, so I left Bill to his business.

I’ll be back next time I need something.