|COX HARDWARE STORE|
Martha spoke to me on the phone today telling me she is the last Cox of the family to run the Cox Hardware store. The year it opened its doors for business was 1907 -- 104 years ago. Martha's husband was the last in the line of four generations to keep the business running.
People in town asked her after her husband passed last year if she was going to sell the place. She responded to them with, "no, I have fun running this old hardware store." She told me that she has worked in the store for thirty years and is very familiar with its operation. I asked her if Cox Hardware was independent. She quickly answered, "a hundred percent independent!"
|ASSORTED ITEMS FOR SALE PLACED ON OLD SHELVES AND BENCHES|
Cox Hardware is located on Main Street in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky. It is a great store to find just what you need in the hardware line -- even one screw or two nails if that is all you need. Any questions -- someone is there to answer with a friendly smile.
|THE ORIGINAL OLD POT BELLY AND AN OLD SITTIN' BENCH|
You can find newer types of paraphernalia here as well as the old. An example of an older type item would be oil lamps with chimneys and the oil to burn in the lamps. Of course I can't list every new or old type of item that they carry as the list would be very long.
It is a large hardware in an old brick storefront displaying lots of character with shiny original wood floors and antique items hanging or sitting around the store. Many of the cases and bins are original old pieces.
|OLD HARDWARE BINS|
At one time most small towns had a hardware store. Many have disappeared. Some say it is because of the influx of the big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot. But some family-owned hardware stores say that they are doing fine. They claim that their personal service and community attachments allow them to survive. They have met the challenge of having the old ways remain while implementing some new practices.
|ONE OF MANY CASES TO HOLD STORE ITEMS|
Some small hardwares have become cooperatives, meaning they form as a group selling the products of a chain. And some have remained independent like Cox Hardware -- meaning running their own show.
|ANTIQUE GLASS DISPLAY CASES|
Will the small town hardware stores survive? That is a question that can only be answered by the future..