Hardware

Market St.
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This is the second hardware building, a fire around 1926-27 burned the first building. A new brick hardware store was in construction within a year after the fire. This picture was taken at the time of the opening of the new steel river bridge across the Juniata. The gasoline pumps in front of the building would be removed when Route 75 was renovated during the 1960s. It was at the same time that all of the trees lining Market Street were removed.
Contributed by ray kohler on 8/3/09 - Image Year: 1938

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S. R. Bashore & Son Hardware was founded by Samuel Ray Bashore and it remained a family business for three generations. Samuel began the business in 1892 as a tin shop on Milford (North) Street. In 1897 he moved to Market Street in a location where the Kepner Brothers operated a hardware. Eventually his son Floyd joined him in the business. When Floyd left the business, another son Clinton became a partner. Eventually Clinton Sr. sold the business to his son Clinton, Jr. The latter operated the business until his retirement in 1977.

Ownership changed several times after the Bashores left the business. Jeff Leonard was the owner after Clinton Jr. Jeff ran the store until Larry Long bought it in 1985. The store operated as Longís Hardware until Keith Kint purchased it some time later. Kintís Hardware went out of business in 1996.

After almost one hundred years, Port Royal was without a hardware.

S. R. BASHORE HARDWARE PROFILE

CLINTON F. BASHORE, JR.
HARDWARE MERCHANT
Focus on Excellence
By Steve Bahorik
Lewistown Sentinel (1997)

It is the human condition to take the familiar for granted, but to lament its loss with it disappears. Such is the case with the hardware store in Port Royal, an establishment that closed its doors for the final time last year. Perhaps no one alive today can remember a prior time when the local hardware store was not there to serve the needs of the community. It was founded by Samuel Ray Bashore, and it remained a family business for three generations. We sat in the living room of Sam's grandson, Mr. Clinton Bashore Jr., the last family member to own and operate the store, and we discussed the history of S. R. Bashore & Son Hardware and its lasting impact upon the community.

"My grandfather," Clint recalls with a smile, "started the hardware business here in Port Royal back in 1897, a hundred years ago this year. Along the way his son, my Uncle Floyd, joined the business, and that's where the "Son" comes from in the store's name. I remember my grandfather well since he allowed me to hang out at the store and do odd jobs for him when I was a kid. He was very strict but also very fair-minded.

"As time went on Uncle Floyd eventually left the business, and my father, Clinton Bashore, Sr., took his place. My grandfather's career spanned a total of forty-eight years. When he died in 1945, my father bought the store. Dad ran it for the next eighteen years until I bought it from him in 1963. Then my wife and I operated the business until my retirement in 1977.

Clint worked in S. R. Bashore & Son Hardware all during his youth first for his grandfather and then in turn for his father. Upon graduating from Tuscarora Valley High School in 1947, he began full time employment in the family business, but his tenure was hardly begun when it was interrupted by a hitch in the army. Shortly after returning to civilian life, Clint once again assumed his role in the store, but his career was stalled a second time by the outbreak of the Korean War. He was shipped to Germany where he served until his discharge in 1953.

We asked Mr. Bashore to recount the history of the store building itself as he heard it from his dad and granddad and as he lived it. The story that unfolded was quite interesting, and we share it now: My grandfather started his business in an old frame building that was situated on the present lot. As he expanded his inventory, the store became more and more crowded, but he lived with the growing confinement until 1927 or 1928. Then late one night fire broke out, and the building with virtually all its inventory was destroyed. To my best recollection they never did determine he cause of the blaze.

It was at thus time that Granddad built the present brick structure. He used a lot of foresight in making it so spacious, that's what eventually allowed us to expand more and more into appliances and into electrical, heating, and plumbing contracting.

During those early years, there was a hitching post out front where the customers tied their horses. Along side of it was a watering trough. Then when automobiles came onto the scene in the 1930s, Granddad installed gasoline pumps at the edge of the road. At one time he offered customers their choice of four different brands of gasoline-our pumps and four tanks! Eventually, Dad and I sold only Sunoco.

The hitching post and watering trough lasted until the 1940s. The gasoline pumps were removed when route 75 was upgraded in the 1960s. Until that time the gasoline storage tanks were located under the highway right-a-way! The new road changed the looks of Port Royal in other ways too. Market Street was lined with beautiful shade trees, but the State mandated plans dictated their removal. The pumps were removed in order to straighten the road and remove the main flow of traffic from Town Lane. I guess every generation sees its own changes.

S. R. Bashore & Son sold American Hardware products, and thousands of items filled its shelves. Much of what we did within the store itself was dedicated more to good will and customer service rather than to profitable venture. For example, it was very time consuming to have a clerk locate six or seven bolts of a certain size, find the associated nuts and washers, and then finally write up a sales slip. But we did this many times a day with the hope that the customer would be satisfied and would return another day to make a bigger purchase.

Our most important decisions were made at the time inventory items were bought. In order to get the lowest prices, we had to buy in volume, even at the risk of overstocking. I used to buy appliances by the boxcar load, and we purchased fertilizer and cement by the truckload. Then in order to sell all these things we competed in service.

A major aspect of my business was appliances. We sold a full line of General Electric products: dishwashers, garbage disposals, trash mashers, washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, and dehumidifiers. We followed up our sales effects with complete service on every item we carried. John Longenecker was a service technician with us for over thirty years. Wendell Longenecker and Jerry Zook worked for us a long time too.

An extremely important phase of our business was electrical, heating and plumbing contracting. We subcontracted through building contractors. We were a major subcontractor for the construction of the early Groninger housing complexes, and we continued to do routine maintenance in these buildings after their completion. The housing complexes in East Waterford, Mifflintown, Port Royal and Newport were all a part of this account.

Perhaps few realized it at the time, but S. R. Bashore & Son Hardware operated one of the largest sheer metal shops in Central Pennsylvania. Fully equipped, the shop manufactured all the ductwork for the many heating-contracting jobs the establishment secured. Stovepipe was also another big item. Thousands of joints of stovepipe were manufactured annually as customers returned to wood burning. Much of this work consisted of producing pipe in odd sizes customized to the buyer's specifications.

In the early 1940s during World War II, anything made of metal was hard to get. Since we couldn't buy buckets, washtubs, boilers, corn dryers and the like, we started manufacturing them in our shop. We'd work late into the evening trying to keep up with demand. Each week we'd even ship several dozen items to Harrisburg for stores down there to sell.

Mr. Bashore retired from the hardware business in 1977 when he sold the store to Jeff Leonard. Jeff operated the business as Leonard's Hardware for about a decade until it was purchased by Larry Long. The store continued as Long's Hardware until Keith Kint bought it a short time later. Kint's Hardware finally closed its doors for good last year [1996] Today the building sits empty, the property of the Juniata Valley Bank, and its ultimate fate is unknown. [The building was torn down in 2004 with the intention that it will be used as parking space by the bank.]

The Bashore men were each involved in community affairs during their respective careers. Clint, his father and grandfather all served as school directors! Clint, himself, served two years on the local Board and six yeas on the County Board. While sitting on the County Board he also was a member of the Board of Directors of the Mifflin-Juniata Vocational Technical School.

Mr. Bashore is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Lost Creek Golf Club, the Juniata County Fair Association, and the American Legion; further he served several years as the President of the Port Royal Investment Club. Presently he sits on the Advisory Board of the Port Royal Branch of the Juniata Valley Bank, a directorship he has held for thirty-four years. "I could never be that active again." Clint laughs. One year we kept track of al the meetings I attended; they totaled 114.

Perhaps it was his service on a special committee that has been the most meaningful to Clint. He was appointed by Governor Milton Shapp to be a member of a four-person committee to interview candidates and determine a nomination to fill the office of Judge when this position suddenly became vacant due to the death of the incumbent. The committee nomination of Keith Quigley was accepted by the governor, and Quigley was appointed judge.

I was brought up in the hardware business, and I never strayed far from it. I never really left home, got to meet an awful lot of people and it was fulfilling to serve so many friends.

Photos & Additional Comments

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Contributed by ray on 3/11/13 - Image Year: 1890
ADVERTISEMENT for Kepner Brothers Hardware. It is a hardware that preceded Bashore's Hardware.
Contributed by ray on 3/4/13 - Image Year: 1930
Bashore's Hardware With the gasoline pumps along the street.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/2/13 - Image Year: 1900
ADVERTISEMENT: Before moving his business from North (Milford) to Market Street, S. R. Bashore published this advertisement in the Port Royal Times.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/6/13 - Image Year: 1929
ADVERTISEMENT from the 1929 PRHS Yearbook.
Contributed by ray on 3/7/13 - Image Year: 1930
ADVERTISEMENT from 1930 PRHS Yearbook.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/9/13 - Image Year: 1925
ADVERTISEMENT: The following note appeared in the March 27, 1907 issue of the Port Royal Times: "One hundred boxes of matches given away free every day at Bashore's hardware store."
Contributed by leitzels on 9/23/09
I remember that at Christmas time the kids in town would go in and Mrs Swartz or Mr. Reagan would let us go up and look in at Toyland and dream of what Santa Claus would deliver to us.
Contributed by jallula on 1/17/11
I remember many visits to Dad's hardware store. As a youngster I also tried to contribute to the workload by "dusting" the hardware counters; payment was a choice from the small candy/snack counter. I also can't forget the many visits to the "toy area" upstairs dreaming and the visits to see Santa Claus at Christmas time; knew it was you US. Spent many days after school practicing the Pledge of Allegiance with Martha Swartz (secretary). Thank you . Clints daughter, Jill Bashore
Contributed by knrob1 on 2/26/11
I too remember the big steps to the second floor that our parents would take us to at Christmas time. We were never allowed to go alone, it was I suppose in the late 40's and early 50's. I'm sure most of our Christmas gifts came from Bashores. It was a time when all the commerse was handled locally, and a good time it was for children then.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/12/10 - Image Year: 1931
1931 TAX NOTICES: These images were on the backs of two separate postal cards. On the front of the first card was S. R. BASHORE and on second card was ANNIE BASHORE. (It is possible that the first card represented taxes on the Hardware while the second card was for the family residence, Annie was the wife of S. R. and they lived in a house that was on Market Street immediately east of the Methodist Church. The house was removed to make way for the expansion of the church building.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/13/13 - Image Year: 1949
ADVERTISEMENT from the 1949 TVHS Yearbook.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/14/13 - Image Year: 1953
ADVERTISEMENT from the 1953 TVHS Yearbook.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/14/10 - Image Year: 1962
BASHORE HARDWARE FLOAT during 150th anniversary of Port Royal in 1962.
Contributed by ray on 3/7/13 - Image Year: 1990
Awaiting a parade in front of Kint's Hardware. The Juniata Valley Bank building is clearly visible on the left of the photo. Kint's Hardware closed in 1996. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/3/09 - Image Year: 2009
Eventually the business was closed and the property was purchased by the Juniata Valley Bank which is located to its east. The Bank removed the building and has turned the porperty into a parking lot.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/25/09 - Image Year: 1889
This map shows the 300 block of Market Street as it appeared in 1889. The first hardware and tin shop is indicated as #2 on the map. Eventually the building represented on this map will be destroyed by fire and replaced by a second hardware building that will be represented on the 1928 map as building #19. Neither of these buildings exists in 2009.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/25/09 - Image Year: 1904
This map shows the 300 block of Market Street as it appeared in 1904. The first hardware and tin shop is indicated as #2 on the map. Eventually the building represented on this map will be destroyed by fire and replaced by a second hardware building that will be represented on the 1928 map as building #19. Neither of these buildings exists in 2009.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/25/09 - Image Year: 1911
This map shows the 300 block of Market Street as it appeared in 1911. The first hardware and tin shop is indicated as #2 on the map. Eventually the building represented on this map will be destroyed by fire and replaced by a second hardware building that will be represented on the 1928 map as building #19. Neither of these buildings exists in 2009.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/25/09 - Image Year: 1928
This map shows the 300 block of Market Street as it appeared in 1928. This is the second hardware building and is represented as #19 on the map. Neither the first nor second hardware building exists in 2009. The island in front of the building represents the area where the gasoline pumps were located.



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