The hardware and general store that locals know as today got its start in Old Katonah in 1887, and Bart and Diana Tyler are throwing a party to celebrate 125 years of being in business.
The Tylers have planned a barbecue on the sidewalk in front of their store and a barn sale out back. With each purchase, customers will receive a raffle with a grand prize of a new Weber grill. Children's games will occupy little ones while parents shop, according to Diana Tyler.
She and her husband purchased the business in 1996 from Jeff Kellogg, great-grandson of the business' founder Henry Kellogg, and a fifth-generation owner.
"We maintain a partnership with the Kellogg family," she said. "You don't buy history like this, you just become a partner to it."
According to the store's history, the business opened as H.W. Kellogg. It housed the village's first U.S. post office.
Over the years, the name changed according to the partners in the business, Tyler said: it was Kelloggs & Elliott by 1895, then Kelloggs & Mead in 1903. After World War I, the business was incorporated under the name Kelloggs & Lawrence, Inc. when Fayette Lawrence of South Salem became a stockholder and store manager. His son, James Lawrence, joined the business after World War II.
James Lawrence was a longtime community volunteer who became chief of of the When he died in the line of duty in the 1950s, the Kellogg family honored his memory by making the name permanent.
The store has adapted to community needs over the years, said Tyler.
She showed Patch some of the memorabilia that will be on display, including a ledger of all sales from the year 1897. For example, one letter estimates the supplies for the plumbing and metal work for an entire home to cost a grand total of $187.
"Prices have changed," she said with a laugh. "And so has our product. The store started with lumber then moved to electrical products when it was invented, and at one time included horse stabling products. About five years ago we opened the basement and added an outdoor department."
At the time, Jaeger's, a camping supply store formerly located on Adams Street in Bedford Hills, was going out of business. The former owners helped them set up the department which now includes fireplace doors and postal boxes and gardening supplies. The store also carries hardware supplies, paint, activewear and seasonal goods.
For more information on the event, call the store at 232-0484.