Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tinkertown Hardware

If you are a student in the village of Alfred, the chances are that you have driven past Tinkertown Hardware, and if you are an art student or engineer the chances that you have had to purchase something from the store are even greater.

Sometime around 1880, Alfred's hardware business started. From that time on, luck was not on that side. The business was operated by Burdick and Greene. However a fire destroyed that building and partnership. Burdick moved the company to a different location beginning in 1883. After Burdick passed, the company was operated by his widow and son, after that, the Cottrell family ran it for a few years until it was passed on to E.E. Fenner around 1909.

From there, the hardware business finally had a change of pace. The business flourished with Mr. Fenner in charge. He began selling car parts as well as farm machinery. During this time, cars were very rare and just coming into the industry but when they became more popularized, Fenner was the first to open a gas pump on Main Street. Much of his business also came from the tin shop, where he manufactures supplies for maple season as well as installed tin roofs, many of which have survived 70 years.

In 1928 Mr. Fenner sold the business to Reuben A. Armstrong, who then sold it to the Butts family, who, with the help of their sons moved the business to its current location on route 244 between Alfred and Alfred station. Along with the new location came a new name, it changed from "Stanlee Hardware" to what we all know it as today, "Tinkertown Hardware". After the business was purchase by the Butts' son-in-law, Robert Vol, both wholesalers in which the business dealt with got into financial trouble and one even went bankrupt. As a consequence, the Hardware store became a part of Hardware Wholesalers Inc. (HWI) in 1986.

Today, Tinkertown is still a wholesome family business with a great deal of history . They now sell any kind of hardware as well as wood and household items. Although the hardware business had its struggles, it has found a successful way to serve as the top hardware store in the town of Alfred New York.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a very interesting and clear entry for how alfred became what we see today. I would like to hear a little more about how Tinkertwoen Hardware is is doing to today.