Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bygone Business: Gebert Hardware

In the days before the big box warehouse stores, downtown Rochester had plenty of hardware merchants to serve the home repair and home improvement needs of the community.  One of these was Gebert's Hardware, located at 405 S. Main, in the building now occupied by Molnar Tuxedo. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Gebert opened the hardware business in 1948, but they were already known to area residents as the operators of the former Metz & Buchanan Coal Yard on Diversion Street.

Gebert Hardware closed in the mid-1960s, as did competitor Burr Hardware, a few doors up the block; a devastating fire did in Case's Hardware in 1968.  Hardware chains soon took over the territory once owned by these family-operated stores.

The accompanying ad for Gebert Hardware appeared in the 1957 Rochester area telephone book and is provided courtesy of Rod and Susan Wilson.

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