Scott County Historical
Scott County, Virginia
Mildred McConnell's Scrapbook Articles
Tom Quillin stands outside of Quillin Hardware Co. on Jackson Street in Gate City. The family-owned business is marking 100 years in operation this year. The hand-painted Warren's Paints sign in the background shows a caricature of Quillin's father, Fred, who followed his father, Charley, in running the store.
Quillin Hardware Co. marks century of service
Antique toysand tools adorn the store's ceiling.
GATE CITY - The ambience of the hardware store on Gate City's Jackson Street is totally small town and old-fashioned. Tommy Quillin likes it that way.
By today's superstore standards, the 4,500 square feet Quillin Hardware pales in comparison.
But how many corporate giants have been handed the reins of business through four generations and have been based in the same location for exactly 100 years?
" More people come in here just to take a look up," under a can of Albert a Radio Flyer Wagon swings away.
Several business owners around Gate City were somewhat shocked when the store, which originally opened in 1903, received a computer for the first time a few years ago to help keep inventory, Quillin said. "That's about all we do with it. We still want the company reps to come down here and talk with us if we carry their products," said Quillin.
The hardware store was actually a branch of a successful mercantile business started by Tom's grandfather, Charley.
The same safe that his grandfather kept cash and documents in way back when still stands in Tom's office today.
Playthings and work tools from the early 20th century adorn the store's ceiling, including two antique toy trucks hanging near the checkout counter.
"Those were probably made around the late '30s and early '40s. I should know because I played with'em," said Quillin.
Tom's father, Fred, also plays a special part of the store's physical makeup. The two padded chairs near the old potbellied stove are up against a wall that holds a portrait of two of the store's famous checkers and bridge players.