Chinchilla Hardware and Garden Center to Close after Decades in Business

SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A hardware store and garden center in Lackawanna County is set to close this summer. The place near Clarks Summit has sold many things in its 65 years, but customers say it's the owners who have kept them coming back.

Northern Boulevard near Clarks Summit was just a two-lane road in 1954. Chinchilla Hardware and Garden Center has sat along it all those years untouched by time.

Alice Piczon from Dunmore says it still looks exactly as she remembers it.

"I've been coming here since I was 10 years old," Piczon said. "The bus used to leave us off at the corner and we would go to the candy store, Vale's at the time, it was on the corner, and we would come in here, it was Elmer's."

It was Elmer's Chinchilla Variety Store back then, a place where you could find just about anything.

"It was just an institution, if you needed anything, there was no mall to go to, you went to Elmer's."

Elmer Berry's son John eventually joined his dad in business in 1970.

"I've been actually on this property since I was like, 2. As a child, I had little jobs like sweeping the floors, stuff like that, that aggravated me when you're 5," John Berry said.

Chinchilla Hardware has a mascot. Patrick the Pumpkin was placed out on Northern Boulevard every fall. Patrick took a beating during the hail storm here earlier this week, but he will live on he's headed to a farm in Luzerne County.

"We've always had fun here, it's not an uptight store, you know. We know a lot of the customers, we laugh with them, have a good time. Probably going to miss the people more than anything else," Berry said.

Berry says the property has been sold but it won't be a garden center anymore. He says it's time for him to retire and spend more time with his family.

"Thank everybody from the Abingtons who have taken care of my family for 60-some years. It's been a great location and the people have been good to me and my family, my parents. It's worked out really well," Berry added.

Chinchilla Hardware and Garden Center is set to close on July 1.


  • greekgeek1955

    Here’s one for the old timers out there. What was the name of the similar type business that was located many years ago a few doors up where the empty lot/ farmers market is now located?

  • Sue Phillips

    Enjoy retirement! It is a place that will be missed. Nothing like it around here anymore.

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