Dunsmuir Hardware

The traditional hardware store of Dunsmuir - California's historic railroad town. Founded by Dunsmuir's first mayor - Alexander Levy - in 1894 and continuing today as a full service TRUE VALUE hardware store. This blog is simply intended to be a running commentary on operating a century old small town hardware store. Also please check our our website at

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Location: Dunsmuir, California

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Last Saturday we participated in the business district anniversary celebration with an Antique Identifying Contest. The celebration was to draw attention to long standing businesses and with our 112 years we were the longest standing. We've done the antique ID contest before and it was always a hit - and was again this time. We numbered 15 items around the store and the entry form was simply a page with 15 lines. We've kept records on this from past events and sort of know what is easy for participants and what is hard. Think we made it a little too hard this time though, because nobody got a perfect 15 score. One lady (with her son-in-law helping) got a 14 and she was the one who won. It worked like this; anybody getting 12 out of the 15 items correct had their entry dropped into the bucket for the drawing for a $100 gift certificate. The plan was to also give a certificate to everybody who got all 15 but - as said - nobody got 15. The certificate was cute. A fancy looking parchment-colored document that declared the person a "certified PAIN (Professional Antique Identification Nut)". We had over 50 participants and they all enjoyed it. The item shown (number 8) is one that many people couldn't identify. Guesses included; rope cutter, pipe cutter, guillotine, and can opener. Actually it is a tobacco plug cutter. In the old days tobacco was sold in a measured "plug" that the tobaccanist sliced off. We have some ideas on how to make the contest easier next time so all those certificates we had printed up won't go to waste. The event may become an annual one - it was a nice event that can draw attention to downtown. A number of businesses had booths on Pine Street but we felt it was more important to draw customers to our store so chose to do our contest.


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