Finding a real hardware store with someone who can explain why a ratchet wrench set is necessary or to possibly suggest the correct nail for a project is rare, especially in the day and age of the behemoth Home Depots. Large box stores that cater to the masses are fine but there are those who appreciate assistance from a knowledgeable hardware expert. Perusing the aisles of a store with rough hewn floors and the scent of sawdust is reminiscent of another era. Hardware stores like Fredericksen Hardware & Paint in San Francisco and the now defunct Varney’s in Mill Valley are few and far between.
Imagine a hardware store that has been in existence on the same premises for 169 years? L.M. Longley came to Norway in 1898 as a plumber and in 1902 moved his hardware business into the multi-story brick building which had been originally occupied by another hardware establishment. The original store, operated by J.O. Cooker, was built in 1844. The current brick building was built in 1867 and survived the Norway fire of 1902.