This Ain’t Your Grandaddy’s Hardware Store
Arlington Hardware, 100+ years Counting
There are not a lot of businesses that can say they have been around for as long as the city they are in. That takes some serious work and dedication. In Snohomish County we are lucky enough to have several locally owned businesses that can claim this distinction.
That includes Arlington Hardware and Lumber, which got it start in 1903, the same year Arlington became an official city. Since that time it has occupied the same building, one that looks as beautiful as the day that it was built. In fact, it has held up so well that it is hard to tell the difference between recent photos and ones taken way back when (see my mix of the two below)
For its first 80 years, Arlington Hardware and Lumber was owned by generations of the Gray family. They opened the store to fulfill the needs of those relocating to the city to become a part of the growing farming and logging industries there.
They were so good at doing so that the store developed quite the reputation …
“If you could not find it at Arlington Hardware, you probably didn’t really need it!” – Arlington Hardware
In 1983 the reigns were passed on to what would become generations of the Jones Family who continue to own the store to this day. More importantly, they have held on, evolved the store, and allowed it to compete with the growing number of national chain hardware stores popping up around them.
Ace Hardware, perhaps the country’s largest locally owned business, has played a huge role in that. The hardware giant offers independently owned and operated stores to stay small and personal while getting the same low prices on merchandise that Home Depot and Lowes get.
“Ace changed the retail landscape by allowing individual stores to purchase merchandise in bulk to save money and buy at the lowest possible price.” – Ace Hardware
I’m happy to say that Ace Hardware is the reason why many Snohomish County communities still have locally owned hardware shops. Don’t get me wrong though, that isn’t the only reason Arlington Hardware continues to succeed. It’s historic building and amazing services aren’t either.
Over the years, the Jones family have expanded the store to be far more than your average hardware store. Within its door you can now find fashionable and functional clothing, beautiful decor, housewares, and kitchen gadgets galore. It truly has continued its reputation of being a store that has anything and everything.
These changes have made the store a shopping magnet for rustic gal’s like me. It is a place we can go to not only get beautiful looks for ourselves and our homes, but everything we need for projects in the kitchen, garden, and beyond. That’s right boys, the hardware store isn’t just for men anymore. Watch out!
While Arlington Hardware might not be your granddaddy’s hardware store anymore, it still has shelves full of all that he could possibly desire. The handy, or not so handy, man is still covered when it comes to their home improvement needs. That’s not all though.
The store has also got men covered literally. The upstairs is home to not only women’s fashion, but fashion for men. They have got everything from work wear and boots to casual every day wear. It also happens to be a good place to pick up a gift for your lady, just saying.
All of that aside though, the best reason to visit Arlington Hardware is its history. From its exterior to the old creaky wood floor that graces the original hardware portion of the store, you can’t find anything else like it. It’s like being transported back in time and you can’t help but wonder who else has walked through its aisles and across that floor over the years. I bet both could tell some stories.
With 100 years and counting under its belt, I for one can’t wait to see what the future holds for Arlington Hardware and Lumber. Whatever it is, I am sure that generations of my family and yours will have the opportunity see it and shop.
Did you know that this article, as well as all of the others featured on our website are part of a monthly magazine. It is all about shopping, eating, drinking, and playing local in Snohomish County. More importantly, it is about the ways that local choices can make your life better. Our monthly magazine is available in both electronic and print form (yes, you read right, print!). As if that wasn’t awesome enough, each issue contains exclusive content that can’t be found on our website or social media accounts. So if you aren’t getting a copy each month you are missing out.
Single issues can be bought HERE and annual subscriptions, which include exclusive giveaways and discounts, can be signed up for HERE. Finally, a limited number of printed copies are available at The Chic Boatique and Artisans Mercantile in Snohomish and Reclaimed Heart in Arlington, Vintage Company No. 7 in Bothell, Dahlia’s Vintage Marketplace on Camano Island, and Rustic Redemption in Granite Falls.