Gone…A White Oaks Institution

The now empty White Oak Hardware

The building that housed White Oaks Hardware is empty now.  Gone are the nails and screws, the tools, the iron and copper plumbing supplies.  Even before the property went into contract, owner Rich Weber began liquidating his inventory and late last week, whatever odds and ends that remained were tossed into a trash bin at the curb.

Weber owned and managed the store since 1987.  He’d been there so long many assumed he owned the building and the empty lot next door.  The out-of-state owners – who inherited the 7,500 square foot property – received multiple offers.  It recently sold.  (Details soon)

White Oaks Hardware had become a fixed part of the landscape…a place you took for granted…a place you always thought would be around…a funny sort of shop that played NPR non-stop, where you could get some help picking out stuff like a specialty brass screw for a door knob.  Weber knew his business and every inch of his store.  If you had a question about hardware, he had the answer.

Rich Weber. Any resemblance to Michele Bachmann's "crazy eyes" cover photo on Newsweek is intentional on his part

On Thursday when I stopped in to say good-bye, Weber was wearing a gold T-shirt with the slogan, “Procrastinators:  Leaders of Tomorrow.”  He’d finally forgiven the Laurel Street Spy for once misspelling his last name, but just for good measure, as I left, he called out, “And it’s Weber with ONE b!”

So long Rich, we’ll miss you!




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