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Historic Beck & Benedict Hardware moves to new location

January 12, 2000

Beck and BenedictBy RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Beck and Benedict, a Waynesboro landmark for the entire 20th century, is moving from its 86 W. Main St. location to new quarters at 118 Walnut St., said Dick Boschert, who co-owns the store with his wife, Della.

Beck and Benedict was opened as a hardware store at the West Main location in 1900 by J. Edward Beck and Daniel Benedict.

The business was sold in 1955 when the last Benedict left, Dick Boschert said. It had changed hands twice before the Boscherts bought it in 1984.

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Over the years, it became a mecca for area homeowners and farmers.

The place never changed much. Its wood floors, embossed tin ceiling and oak shelves, counters, cabinets and merchandise cases looked much the same on Monday, when Boschert started to move them out, as they did in 1900.

Boschert said the store will reopen in its new quarters Monday.

The Boscherts have changed the face and nature of Beck and Benedict. While the hardware store is their mainstay business, the store has expanded into an antique shop, a glass and mirror repair shop and on Friday nights, a popular area spot for bluegrass music. Musicians come from a wide area to play before a live audience.

All of the functions - the hardware store, the glass shop, antique shop and the music - are moving to Walnut Street, Boschert said.

The move offers more room and parking, Boschert said.

"We've been looking for several months for a place that would hold everything we do," he said. "We wanted to start the millennium in a new location."

The old wooden fixtures will give the hardware store much of its familiar appearance.

"We'll be losing some of our ambiance, because we can't take the wood floor and tin ceiling with us, but we are gaining heat and air conditioning," Boschert said.

The antique store, which holds merchandise from different dealers, will expand and the glass shop will be bigger, he said.

The store also sells and repairs acoustic musical instruments such as guitars, banjos and mandolins, as well as Lionel trains.

Musicians and patrons who frequent the Friday night bluegrass jam sessions will see the biggest change. They will lose the romance of being crammed into space made available by moving merchandise around, but the new building will have more and better seating, better acoustics thanks to wall-to-wall carpeting, a real stage for the musicians and air conditioning.

Boschert said he's going to call the room, which is across the hall in the building that once housed the Waynesboro Outlet Mall, "The Beck and Benedict Music Theater."

The jams at the old store were free to patrons. From now on they'll have to pay $2 to get in. "I have to pay for the air conditioning," Boschert said.

The music resumes Friday night at Beck and Benedict. Boschert always joins in on the jam with his father's 1920 tenor banjo.

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