Tearing Down History In Tunkhannock

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TUNKHANNOCK -- Demolition began Monday on a landmark building in Wyoming County.

For nearly a century, Gay's True Value called the place home. Now the hardware store has a new home and wrecking crews are tearing apart the building that was one of the most recognizable in the Tunkhannock area.

It is a building that survived numerous floods, standing in Tunkhannock for more than a century, but now in only a few days, demolition crews are leveling the historic mill building that was the longtime home to Gay's True Value Hardware.

James Forte came to take photos of history crumbling.

"It held up through a lot of flood waters and is still standing so they're having to knock it down.  It didn't come down on its own.  It's fighting every bit of the way."

Forte and many others in Tunkhannock are saddened seeing the prominent place come down.  There are mixed emotions about the demolition and the CVS Pharmacy that will take its place.

"It's terrible because this building has been here for more than 100 years and when you pull in to Tunkhannock after this building is gone, I don't think you'll recognize where you're at," said Walt Heimbach.

"On the other side of it, the building has maybe been up a little too long.  It does need to come down.  It's beyond repair, renovation," Forte said.

Even those doing the demolition work know it is one of the most recognizable buildings in the county.

Reggie Quick feels honored to be on the job.

"I'm glad I'm a part of it, I've grew around this thing all my life, being around Tunkhannock. And I've done a lot with Tunkhannock," Reggie Quick said. "It's sad to see it go, but the building is in pretty rough shape."

While Gay's is now in a brand new facility just down the road, all shiny and new, demolition day is a difficult day for the Gay family.

"It's breaking my heart.  I worked there ever since I was a pup. I worked there since I was a pup in 1964. My dad was there in 1929, so it's tough, tough call," said owner Doug Gay.

Gay and his family left a thank you message spray painted on the old building. Now the family's focus is on the new home.

"My employees and sons have been working very, very hard to get everything lined up and we still have a long way to go but we're going to make it," Gay said.

The owners hope the new location for Gay's True Value is high enough so they never have to deal with flooding again.