The Suburbanite
  • The Monday After: Hardware history

  • ‘Fireside Chat’ will focus on Lake Township hardware stores

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  • The GentleBrook Centre at 6409 W. Maple St. seems an appropriate place for historical types to sit and talk about hardware stores.
    It’s the former site of Hartville Hardware before the business moved to larger quarters last year.
    That’s why Lake Township Historical Society will hold a “Fireside Chat: History of the Hardware Stores in Lake Township” at GentleBrook from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday. April 25
    “Several times a year we have what we call ‘Fireside Chats.’ ” said Ruth Sturgill, who as a trustee is in charge of programs for the historical society. “Our chats feature persons, places or things of interest that have helped to make Lake Township the special place it is today. These chats are recorded and can be bought by anyone in the future. This helps to preserve the past.”
    The society’s Fireside Chat about hardware stores will focus on nine stores: The Greentown/Bishop Hardware in Greentown; the Wise Hardware in Aultman; the Nees/J.C. Birk Hardware in Uniontown; and five hardware stores in Hartville — Royer Hardware, Hartville Hardware (in the Chocolate Factory building), Standard Farm & Supply, Lake V&S Hardware, True Value Hardware, and The Hartville Hardware of the Howard Miller family.
    People who owned those hardware stores or were in the families that operated them, as well as individuals who worked in the establishments, will bring pictures, artifacts, memorabilia, and most importantly their memories of the stores to the event for those in attendance to enjoy.
    Thursday’s topic is of special interest to Sturgill. Her family owned a building in Lake Township in which hardware stores did business.
    “One day there was a knock at the door and my stepfather, Dennis Steffy, answered it, and this couple was standing there,” recalled Sturgill. “They said they understood the man running the business was holding an auction. They said, ‘We would like to lease your building.’ ”
    The couple standing in the doorway — Ted and Dorothy Henry — ended up being the parents of former Cleveland television news anchor Ted Henry Jr. The Henrys ran that hardware store — the Lake V&S Hardware, where Standard Farm & Supply previously did business — for several years.
    Sturgill’s 101-year-old mother, Esther Young, will be coming to the Fireside Chat. So likely will Maude Bohaychyk, the 103-year-old daughter of Nathaniel Royer, who ran Royer Hardware near the public square in Hartville.
    “She has wonderful pictures,” said Sturgill, who noted that the Maude Bohaychyk’s son, Robert Bohaychyk, also is planning to attend.
    Master of ceremonies for the event Thursday will be Paul Kamerer, who has a wealth of knowledge about the stores, notes promotional material from the historical society.
    “Paul’s father was a builder in the area and took Paul to the stores in all three towns,” said the society’s information. Later, noted the society, Kamerer worked at the Schumacher Construction Co., and dealt with the stores himself.
    Page 2 of 2 - Those attending can visit with Fireside Chat presenters prior to the program. Tables will be set up for each hardware store. There also will be time during an intermission to talk to members of the families who operated the stores.
    “These are only the nine stores that we know of,” noted Sturgill. “We may find during the evening that there were more.”
    Reach Gary at 330-580-8303 or gary.brown@cantonrep.com.
    On Twitter: @gbrownREP
    WHAT Fireside Chat: History of the Hardware Stores in Lake Township
    WHEN 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday
    WHERE GentleBrook Centre at 940 West Maple Street, Hartville
    WHY To preserve the past of Lake Township through the collection of oral history
    WHO Lake Township Historical Society
    HOW Admission is free. For information, visit www.laketownshiphistoricalsociety.org.
    DETAILS Family members or representatives of the nine known Lake Township hardware stores will have tables of artifacts and photographs that can be viewed before the program and during the intermission. Refreshments will be served.
    When Lake Township Historical Society holds its Fireside Chat from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at GentleBrook Centre in Hartville, the group also will sell raffle tickets for a handmade quilt created by one of its board members.
    Other items also being offered in the raffle include a basket of items from Hartville Hardware and a $50 gift certificate from the store, 18 holes of golf for four at Raintree Country Club, an overnight stay at Salt Fork Lodge, and a gift certificate for Sunrise Massage Therapy Services.
    Winners need not be present when the drawing is made following the Fireside Chat.

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