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Lens on History: This was no big box store

Hanson Hardware was a staple on South Broadway until it moved to Miracle Mile.

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Hanson Hardware Co. located at 118 South Broadway Avenue in September of 1938. Contributed
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Oscar Hanson was a traveling salesman for the American Stove Co. and was ready to get off the road. On May 29, 1904, Hanson’s 27th birthday, he partnered with George Hall to purchase Parmele’s Hardware store at 118 S. Broadway. The partnership lasted five years before George Hall sold out and Hanson became the sole proprietor.

Carl Oesterreich worked as bookkeeper for Hall and Hanson Hardware. Under Oscar’s ownership, Carl became a buyer for the company and in 1917 bought half interest in the store, although the name remained Hanson Hardware.

Through their business partnership, they would become two of Rochester’s most active and respected citizens, sitting on boards of banks and utility companies and with memberships in many civic organizations.

In 1952, Hanson and Oesterreich’s 35-year partnership ended when the pair retired and sold out to a group who moved the store to the new Miracle Mile under the name of Hanson Hardware.

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Fire destroyed Hanson Hardware August 20,1941, and was replace with Osco Drug. Contributed

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Fire destroyed Hanson Hardware August 20,1941, and was replace with Osco Drug. Contributed

“Lens on History” is a weekly photo feature by Lee Hilgendorf, a volunteer at the History Center of Olmsted County.

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