Schmidt Hardware Store Exhibit
Since I seem to be focused on hardware stores in this newsletter, I thought a mention of our Schmidt Hardware exhibit was in order. Though it is not big enough to represent the actual store which stood on Delta’sMain Street, it does show many of the items which the store carried. And the items in the exhibit did actually come from Schmidt Hardware.
The firm of Schmidt Hardware actually originated inGrand Junctionin 1905. The founder, Louis Schmidt, with his two sons Lon and Julius, came toGrand Junctionto purchase the E.M. Slocomb Hardware store, which then became Schmidt Hardware.
Then, in 1925, Louis Schmidt expanded his business holdings and purchased the Stockham Hardware business in Delta. Julius Schmidt managed the Delta Schmidt Hardware store until 1946, when he turned over the day-to-day operation to his son, Fred, assisted by Gordon Hodgin, then married to Julius Schmidt’s daughter, Shirley.
Schmidt Hardware in 1926. Julius Schmidt is shown standing by a knife display.
When Fred Schmidt died in 1968, Gordon Hodgin continued to operate the business until his retirement in 1978, when he sold the business. However, the store continued to carry the Schmidt Hardware name until 1988, when another sale changed the name to Schmidt True Value Hardware. Then in 1994, the Schmidt hardware business closed for good.
The museum exhibit includes the original Schmidt Hardware cash register, along with a sampling of tools, hardware, and Queensware dishes. The cash register dates to 1895 and was actually purchased for the F.P. Hunt Hardware store which preceded the Stockham Hardware business at the same location. Other items include a keg of nails, a revolving multi-drawer screw cabinet, sewing items, and much more.
Check out the Schmidt Hardware exhibit on your next visit to the museum. There is more to see there than you might imagine.
Director, Delta County Historical Society and Museum