KATONAH, N.Y. — Need a new barbecue, mailbox, screwdriver or flashlight? A relic of Old Katonah that is still in operation today, hardware store Kelloggs & Lawrence has been providing the essentials to shoppers since 1887.
The store will celebrate its 125th anniversary Saturday with a party starting at 10 a.m., featuring a barn sale, barbecue, games and raffle prizes.
“We’ve worked hard all along to maintain the old-fashioned nature of the store. The best part of the attraction of the place is the link to the past,” said Bart Tyler, who became proprietor of the store on Parkway with his wife, Diana, in 1996.
The store has a number of antique attractions, including a cash shuttle — a small wooden cup that shoots across the ceiling on a wire, used by stores before the invention of the cash register, Bart said.
Henry W. Kellogg purchased the hardware business belonging to C.W. Avery in 1887, and moved it to Katonah’s new site along with the entire village when the Muscoot River was dammed in 1897.
Since that time, the business has gone through a number of incarnations, becoming Kellogg & Elliot and later, Kellogg & Mead. The store’s final name was incorporated after World War II in memoriam to James Lawrence, the store manager’s son, who was killed while directing the Katonah Fire Department at a local brush fire.
The Tylers have worked hard to keep the store close to its original form. Renovations in the ’60s affixed tiles to the original wood floors and ceilings, so when the Tylers took over in the late ’90s, they set about removing the tiles and bringing the wood floors back to their original condition.
“Those were huge measures to bring the store back to its antiquity,” said Diana Tyler.
In 2007, the Tylers added a lower level, which now houses the store’s core departments: plumbing and electrical supplies and basic hardware. The fireplace shop is another more recently added department, as is an outdoor shop with camping apparel and equipment.
The store’s staff is a de facto family of antiques junkies and hardware experts: There is Erv, the resident Mr. Fix-It, who donates his entire salary to causes like Guiding Eyes for the Blind and the Salvation Army.
There is even a Kellogg still working at the store: general manager Jeff Kellogg, who began at the store in his early teens and works alongside his wife, Nina.
The store’s staff “are all crazy about things that were practical that were made simply, that still can be used,” Diana Tyler said.
After 125 years, Kelloggs is not looking to get “fancied up,” she said. “We don’t have the latest yuppie product; we’re really good at keeping to the basics.”