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Stoneham's Motorsports marks five decades of service

June 26, 2011|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com
  • Stoneham's Motorsports, an outdoor-equipment business on Pa. 16 just west of Waynesboro, Pa., celebrated its 50th anniversary in February.
By C.J. Lovelace

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Stoneham’s Motorsports marked its 50th anniversary in February.

Through the decades, the recipe for success has remained the same, founder and former owner Jim Stoneham said.

The reason customers pick the outdoor-equipment business on Pa. 16 just west of Waynesboro over “big-box stores” is the personable and dependable service they provide, he said.

“We’ll follow up, and we’ll service any units we sell,” Stoneham said. “We give free delivery within a 20-mile radius of the store. Our products are set up and ready for people to use. We’ve got the warranty and the service for those units.”

After owning and running the business for 45 years, Jim Stoneham turned the company over to his son and daughter-in-law, James and Lisa Stoneham, in 2006 to ensure the continuity of the business as he entered retirement.

But that hasn’t kept him away. He still tries to help out around the store in any way he can, often working six days a week.

“I’ve enjoyed it very much,” Jim Stoneham said. “That’s the reason I’m still around, even though I’m retired. I enjoy the people and seeing them.”

Stoneham founded the business in 1961 with his business partner at the time, Ralph H. Fitz. In 1965, Jim Stoneham purchased Fitz’s shares in the business and moved it to its current location.

The business was a licensed John Deere dealer before corporate downsizing closed several outlets, Stoneham said.

Stoneham’s currently carries numerous makes and product lines for just about any outdoor activity, from lawn care to recreation, with Husqvarna, Polaris, Mahindra, Gravely and Ariens equipment neatly situated in and around the showroom.

The best deals on equipment aren’t always found at the big-box stores, said Sales Manager Chad Shank, who called parts and service the “bread and butter” of the business that draws customers from as far away as Maryland and West Virginia.

“If you supply great parts and service, people are always going to come back to you,” Shank said. “We’ve had cases where people would buy a department-store mower, and it wouldn’t last that long. Then their next mower, instead of buying it there, they would buy it from us because they would want a little higher-quality product, and they would really want the great parts and service that we offer.”

Shank said business always mimics weather patterns, and customers can find what they need when they need it at Stoneham’s.

“We really change with the seasons here,” Shank said. “Our inventory dictates that. We try to follow the season with the correct inventory. It’s always a guessing game because you’re just hoping the weather is what you expect.”

Last year’s record-setting drought season was a difficult time because no one was buying mowers or lawn- maintenance equipment, Shank  said.

“That was a tough time just sitting here watching our mowers collect dust,” Shank said.

Stoneham’s goal has stayed the same for half a century: provide the area with a dependable and quality source for almost anything for outdoor activities.

“If people can get out and do what they love to do, then that’s good for us because business is good,” Shank said.

Stoneham’s is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Its website is www.stonehamsonline.com.

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