Hatteberg's People - The Old Hardware Store: Margaret Kraisinger

By: Larry Hatteberg Email
By: Larry Hatteberg Email

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

On Hatteberg's People, for 133 years, a building in downtown Halstead has housed a hardware store. In the late 1990s, Margaret Kraisinger and her husband Gary purchased it, refurbished it. Today, it looks much the same as it did a hundred years ago. Inside, you'll find one of a kind pieces of hardware from the past. And you'll find Margaret.

"My whole purpose, my goal, was to create a time capsule, so that when a person came in here they would feel like they have stepped back into about 1910," said Margaret. "It's always been a hardware store. I'm still a hardware store. People come in and they say oh, you are an antique store. I say, uh, uh, uh-h-h. I'm a hardware store. A 1910 hardware store."

Margaret Kraisinger is a master at old restored hardware. If you need something from the 1900s she's probably got it. How about the 1960s? It's here too.

"I do have those pieces, they are exquisite. They are pieces of art. They are beautiful. They come from the Victorian era and they would date around the 1880's."

"It took two years to refurbish this store and to get it to look like it looks today."

"To keep up with it, it is a constant thing. I mean I'm never finished, I'm always rebuilding, refurbishing, and cleaning."

"The building itself was built in 1878 and '79, the hardware store was started in 1885."

"These were brought into me, but they actually came out of an old hotel. These are called art deco porcelain fixtures, like this was from the ceiling or it could be from the wall. You notice the little chain here to turn it off and on."

"I pretty much know where everything is."

"This area here is for the person who is looking for kitchen memorabilia. The old coffee tins and look at the old potato mashers. There are so many different ones."

"The fun is finding this hardware that most of the time isn't complete, is missing parts, and I can take it and build it, clean it, and put it together to make a beautiful piece. It satisfies me when they say, 'Oh, I've been looking for this for years. and here it is, you have it.'

"Oh, it's fun to come to work. I love it! It's just a warm, warm feeling. There is many times when I've been depressed and down and I can come to the store and feel comfortable."

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