PEARL RIVER, NY—There are three things Jill Wechsler will always remember about Hadeler Hardware: the tin ceiling, the smell and the friendly customer service.
“I’ve been coming here since I was 3 years old,” she said. “None of it has changed at all. They still have the gate up that parents won’t let their kids near because they’re afraid the kids might knock it over and fall down the steps. They’ve always been helpful and made you feel important no matter how small the item you were purchasing was.”
Wechsler shared her memories of the store on a bittersweet Saturday at the Pearl River hardware store, it’s last day of operation. Owner Paul Hadeler announced earlier this year he was selling the store, which has been in his family since 1905.
“Today’s the culmination of 108 years for my family,” he said about a half-hour before he closed the store for good.
The building was sold to Thomas Clifford’s Martial Arts, which already has displays in windows on one side of the store. On Saturday, the side of the store’s windows promoting a one-day sale on Saturday, calling it the “end of an era.”
Wechsler was at the store on Saturday for one last outing, looking for anything with the store’s name on it. She found some rulers that read “Since 1905” with the store’s address on them and others that read “George W. Hadeler, Inc.,” for Paul Hadeler’s father, who opened the store. The rulers weren’t all for her, though.
“I was talking to a friend from high school who moved to Jersey City and told her today was the last day,” Wechsler said. “She told me, ‘Get me something to remember Mr. Hadeler by.’ Everyone who grew up around here knew him and [Paul] is the spitting image of his father.”
Saturday was also the last day for Dreams, the doll store Hadeler’s wife opened, which could be accessed from W. Central Avenue or by walking downstairs from Hadeler Hardware.
Paul Hadeler said a lot of items placed out in the hardware store were sold pretty quickly on Saturday. As for anything left over from either store, he said they will have to decide what to do with it all.