This summer, a hardware store in Seneca, Ill., is celebrating its 140th anniversary. Ellis Ace Hardware opened in 1872, and 14 decades later, it’s still operated by the Ellis family. The location? Main Street, of course.
Behind the cash register these days is David and John Ellis, the fourth generation. David and John expanded the size of the store in the 1970s, quadrupling the size. David’s son, Michael Ellis, has also joined the operation, making it a fifth-generation business.
The store isn’t modest about its age -- vintage photos decorate its Facebook page and its store. But this is not the kind of hardware store where some inventory turns about once every five years. Ellis Ace Hardware will refill your printer cartridges, and its Radio Shack franchise sells the latest iPhone.
They’re also famous for their caramel apples (with or without nuts), which usually come in around Aug. 31.