Fernandina Beach's Old Fashioned Hardware Store
When I was a boy growing up in central Missouri, my father was an avid woodworker hobbyist. He would save each year so he could buy a new power tool, starting with a table saw, then a drill press and so on until he eventually amassed a pretty effective shop. One of my joys was to accompany him on Saturdays to the local hardware store/lumber yard for whatever project need was active at the time. My memories were rekindled when I came to Fernandina Beach and visited the Amelia Island Paint and Hardware store. Once again I was drawn back to the narrow aisles filled with all manor of unique items, certain to fit the need you were attempting to fix. The current owner, Andy Palmisano, purchased the store from his mother in 2001 and relates that she bought the store in 1980. The original building has been there since at least the 1930′s and was originally Askin’s Super Market. Later it becme a paint store and was subsequently expanded by stages in 1982, again in 1985 and finally to its current size in 1988. Today it continues to supply local needs, act as a gathering place for locals (both homeowners and contractors), and a convenient on-island way to get what you need (and we are always having some hardware need at the B&B). There is popcorn most afternoons and unless Andy is is working the books, good conversation. This is a store where men love to shop but I also see a lot of ladies in looking for the right gadget or widget to keep the home working smoothly. We are indeed fortunate to have so many locally owned businesses here on the island where everyone can be either customer or supplier, but also friend and neighbor. So when you come to town for that great historical experience don’t forget to stop in at our local hardware store right down Ash Street just a couple of blocks from the Inn. It just might bring back a few pleasant memories and you’ll get to meet Andy unless he happens to get out early for a round of golf.
Andy behind the paint mixing area
We get most of our paint from Amelia Island Paint since the colors are registered there on Andy’s somewhat old but still works just fine computer. He has also color matched when needed.
One of many aisles with useful stuff
There always seems to be something we need to complete a repair or fix somehting that just got broken and we can usually find it just down the street. Saves gas since it is walk-able or even bike-able.
Racks of miscellaneous parts
There are numerous sections for different hardware parts and this is the main section for the unusual and unique items. Andy and his staff read customers well and will let you look on your own or provide help later when you can’t seem to find that unique item. Nuts, bolts, washers, screws, clips, spacers, etc. can all be had here.
Narrow aisles make for fun shopping and discovery
Yes, we have the big box stores whose name we won’t mention just off the Island, but it is nothing like the experience of an old fashioned hardware store. Prices are also quite competitive and you save all the gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. Deborah has accused me of making up needs to go visit the hardware store, but it’s just me doing my maintenance role at the B&B. Of course, sometimes we talk a little golf while we’re waiting for the paint to mix.