LEHIGHTON -- After more than 90 years in business, a hardware store in Carbon County is calling it quits
For the past 25 years, Tom Litchauer has been coming to Lehighton Hardware. But now, after 90 years, the owners have decided to move on and when October rolls around, this store on South Second Street will be no more.
Litchauer made his way inside one more time, grabbing what he could use before he will likely make his way to one of those big box stores in the future.
"It's a big difference," said Litchauer. "A lot of the big box stores, you don't know anyone. They don't know you. The people working here know us by first name because we've been coming here so long."
But past the screws, bolts, and washers, one of the reasons this store has stood out for a lot of its customers is that a man hasn't worked here in 40 years.
It's all run by women.
"They say, 'I don't want to mess with you,'" said worker Brenda Neff. "One gentleman that comes here for coal, he says, 'I don't want to mess with you the way you throw those 50-pound bags of coal around!'"
Neff is the self-proclaimed "newbie" employee. She's only worked here for 10 years but is quick to admit how much of a family the store has become for her.
"We became close. We work close together. We help each other with lifting and stuff. Some of the men look at us and say, 'are you taking that out to the car for me?' Yeah, we take it out on a buggy and take it out and load it for them sometimes."
Now that the store has closed for good, employees of Lehighton Hardware say they'll likely look for work elsewhere.