Curwensville was named after John Curwen in 1799. It became the second borough of Clearfield County in 1851. Right now there are about 2,500 people living there.
There are a few things that haven’t changed in town of Curwensville since the old days; like Gates Hardware on Filbert Street. It was founded by the Gates family in 1877.
The first Gates built the nails and hinges by hand as people needed them. Jeff Gates is the fifth generation in his family to run this store.
Jeff says, “The first generation, they were blacksmiths, Solomon Jefferson Gates, my great great grandfather”.
He went to say the hardware that has kept this store open for 139 years. “Gates Hardware is all about the people, that’s why I’m here. My family is the town.”
Bill Thomas likes that you always know what’s going to be here. He says he has been coming to the shop since his early 20’s.
Bill said, “Just look at the history. From years by gone by, walk on wood floors, walk down the isles, it’s pretty amazing.”
Jeff Gates says he never really worried about the big box stores or other competition saying it’s all about service..
Jeff is now 60 years old. Its not easy to put in 80 hour work weeks, but he doesn’t plan to close up anytime soon.
“I’ll never retire,” he said “I’ll slow down, as my grandfather used to say. We’re proud to be here.”