MARYSVILLE — Marysville Historical Society President Ken Cage moved to town in 1965, the same year that Carr’s Hardware owner Darlene Scott was elected president of the Liberty Elementary PTA, so her store’s 90-year anniversary had a special significance for him.
“After our first PTA meeting together, she asked me to serve as its Ways and Means chairman,” Cage said Aug. 6, before presenting a certificate recognizing the time that Carr’s Hardware has been part of the community. “Since 1965, Darlene has been a big part of my life, and her store has been a big part of Marysville.”
Cage said three other downtown businesses — Hilton Pharmacy, Oosterwyk’s Bakery and Kuhnle’s Tavern — have been around roughly as long, but Scott’s daughter, Gail Libbing, asserted that Carr’s is the only one that’s operated continuously from the same location with the same family.
Gail’s husband, Maurice Libbing, noted that Scott had worked at the store since she was 16, before joking that she’d earned the employee of the month designation 675 times.
“This is the first such certificate of recognition that the Marysville Historical Society has given out,” Cage said.
Cage isn’t sure if this certificate will set a trend of recognizing other historic businesses, but he was effusive in his praise for Carr’s.
“The Marysville Historical Society is extremely happy to have them in our town,” Cage said. “Whenever we’ve needed something, no matter how old, we’ve generally been able to find it here, even if Darlene has to go into the back room to get it.”
“There’s a lot of things you just can’t find at the bigger hardware stores, but you can find everything here,” agreed longtime customer William Stroup. “Carr’s Hardware has been here since I was a little kid, and I’ve known this family my whole life.”
The store’s history can be seen in its antique cash register, a relic of the 1950s that the store obtained in the 1960s.
“This is actually the store’s second cash register,” Scott said, explaining that the first cash register only went up to $99, and became obsolete when customer purchases began exceeding that amount. “I’m just happy to have family who will continue running it.”