Century Old Hardware Store to Close its Doors
Park’s Hardware has been open to the Orono community for more than 120 years. Mr. Fred C. Parks started the business in 1892, but on August 31st, the shop will close for the final time. “It’s definitely sad to see this, the heart of mill street, to be gone,” said Ross Ludders, a regular Park’s Hardware customer. Lin White Jr. has owned the store for 23 years. He said there just isn’t a demand for neighborhood hardware stores anymore and always planned to go out while on top.One long time customer said it doesn’t get much better than this shop. “The store to me is the greatest in hardware store in the state. Even though it’s small they have more variety than the bigger stores,” said Ludders.Over 30,000 products full almost every inch of the store and if you think that’s a lot for your neighborhood hardware store the owner says it’s because he’ll do whatever it takes to meet the needs of the Orono community. “We can do things that most people either don’t do, don’t want to do, or can’t do,” said White. Robert Allen, who works in Orono and frequents the store, said “Parks Hardware has it and if they don’t have it they’ll be happy to get it for you.”White said his employees are part of the reason people keep coming back.As for the locals, the White has a special message. “Thank you very much for 120 years of wonderful support.”Right now, the store is offering a 20% discount on everything in-stock. After closing up shop, White plans to take the next two years and make the building into about four retail stores.He hopes to keep business where it started, on Mill Street.