HISTORY LESSON: Store Celebrates 150 Years

This weekend, Iowa is marking a celebration for a business that started during the Civil War and still uses its old fashioned cash register.

Tom and Marlene McDonald, the owners of New Providence Hardware, are celebrating the 150th birthday of the store this fall.

It’s the oldest hardware store in the state.

The small Hardin County store has prospered, even though it burned down once, survived the farm crisis of the 80’s, and fought new competition from big box stores in cities.

cash_registerMarlene says the key to the store’s success is selling what the customer needs.

“I think just the hardware store alone isn’t the total story, we live in a great community. They take pride in their community. You look around you’ll see they’ve taken some steps to see this is a very special place,” says Marlene.

The store opened in 1863, the same year as Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the first Thanksgiving.

The McDonalds held a celebration Friday morning. Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds stopped by to take part in the festivities.



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