Dunsmuir Hardware

The traditional hardware store of Dunsmuir - California's historic railroad town. Founded by Dunsmuir's first mayor - Alexander Levy - in 1894 and continuing today as a full service TRUE VALUE hardware store. This blog is simply intended to be a running commentary on operating a century old small town hardware store. Also please check our our website at

My Photo
Location: Dunsmuir, California

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Book !

Guess it can now be told. I've been working on a book on the history of Dunsmuir - to be published the end of May. With my incredible co-author, Deb Harton, I've spent almost an entire year writing a literary masterpiece for the Arcadia Publishing Company. Arcadia has done over 5000 titles featuring American small towns. Mt. Shasta, Weed, McCloud, and Yreka have already been featured and now it's our turn. Deb and I accessed archives, libraries and private collections - as well as our own personal collections - for images to tell the story of the town. Scanned them, organized them, wrote captions for each of them, laid out the format of the book, and it's now in the hands of the publisher. We're pretty proud of our work and very excited to see the finished product.

The image shown here - one from my own collection which will be in the book - has a personal link to Dunsmuir Hardware. The photo is of the interior of Warner's Grocery which later became Bascom's Market, probably taken in the 1920s. It was located just to the north of our store in the building now occupied by a motorized bicycle business. Interesting to note how neatly organized the shelves and display case are. The brass cash register and padlocked penny candy gumball machine are somewhat indicative of the age of the picture. Wish we knew who the lady is. She appears to be taking her job very seriously. The link to the hardware store is the large white weighing scale in the center of the photo. When we bought our store back in 1975 we were told by one of the previous owners that the scale used to weigh nails in our store, "came from the old meat market." We found this photo - and a couple of others showing the market - in an antique store in Oregon. Then, a few years ago we realized that the "old meat market" was practically next door. The scale has a patent date of 1911 and is perfectly functional. It sits right over our bulk nail bins and gets lots of use every day.

There are over 125 photo images in the book telling Dunsmuir's story. There are chapters on the earliest days (Native Americans, explorers, trappers, etc.), mining and logging, railroad, the water and the fountain, resorts, the highway, businesses, and interesting people and places. Some of our photos have never been published before. We'll have the book for sale in our store of course, and it will be available in other stores in the area too. We had planned from the start to have the book available for Railroad Days 2010 and it appears that it will work out. We can hardly wait!


Post a Comment

<< Home