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

Friday, February 09, 2007


What – you might ask – would the passing of our family dog have to do with the subject of this blog; managing an old hardware store. In that our business is a family business – and Buddy was a family member – it has a great deal to do with it. Folks say “Oh yes, they get to be just like a member of the family.” Well, Buddy wasn’t “just like a member of the family”, he WAS a member of the family. He was literally born into our hands in June of 1992 and from the moment of his birth – until the moment that he slipped away – he was a member of our family. For fourteen and a half years he lived in our home and it was his home. His involvement in the hardware store wasn’t seen by most people. He was my companion those lonely nights when – after putting in a full day at the store – it was necessary to go back after dinner to catch up on office work; balancing check books, working on orders, preparing month end statements, paying bills, and so on. As I prepared to leave home I’d ask, “Want to go to work with me, Bud?” and the answer was always an enthusiastic “You bet – let’s go!” We would drive to the store, park nearby, and walk together to the front door. I would unlock the door and Bud would step in and pause for me to unsnap his leash and then trot back to the office because he knew there was a box of dog biscuits there. After his biscuit he would stretch out on the rug that I kept there for him and he would doze while I did my work. If the work went on too long he might ask for a second or even a third biscuit and if it went on way too long he would give me the look that said “Aren’t you about done? I want to go home.”

Bud retired a year or so ago – it just got to be too hard for his old body to go to the store and lay on a hard floor when his nice soft warm bed was there at home. I’ll always miss his companionship – and the box of dog biscuits is still there in my office.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Did we say something about predicting the weather? From our early - before Thanksgiving - snow until now it's been a roller coaster ride. Super cold - windy - dry - balmy and warm - a bit of everything but not much moisture. None since early January. This photo - taken on November 29 of last year - shows a little snow on the ground. It's the photo being used in a grand experiment for us. We've contracted for a year of advertising at the Mt. Shasta Theater. Our brief - 20 second - ad will show every night in all three theaters for a year. It features some old scenes of our business and carries the message about our hundred year plus heritage. The final message is "Drop in and see what's new in the old fashioned hardware store." It's expensive advertising but is an attempt to reach the Mt. Shasta market. Hope to draw more customers from that town to ours. All advertising is a gamble so we'll just have to wait and see if it works.