|Documents||Closing of Byrne Brothers Hardware|
"Santa Cruz Old Timers Going Out of Business"
One of Santa Cruz's oldest business firms, Byrne Brothers Hardware, is closing out its books after more than 70 years of continuous operations, it was announced yesterday.
John Byrne and Roy Mayfield, partners in the store since 1930, said details of the close-out sale will be announced Thursday.
Byrne Brothers was established in 1894, when two Michigan brothers, George G. and Walter C. Byrne, arrived in Santa Cruz and bought a tinsmith and woodstore. The original location was on Pacific avenue near the present site of Santa Cruz Savings and Loan.
The business prospered, and in 1905 the firm was moved up the street to its present location at 1531 Pacific ave - 16 Pacific ave in those days. The firm included not only hardware sales, but a plumbing and sheet metal department. The shops behind the store, finally disappeared in 1958, when a city parking lot took over the land.
Mayfield, a native of Tennessee, has been with Byrne Brother for all his business life, joining the firm in 1916. He and John Byrne bought an interest in the company in 1930, buying out the share of George Byrne. The partners in 1930 were Mayfield, Byrne, and John's father, Walter Byrne, one of the founders. An active partner was Helen Byrne, widow of the other founder, George G. Byrne.
For more than 50 years, the store has provided free scales for friends and customers dropping in. An old-style beam platform scale was first used, the sort with sliding weights. Later the Toledo dial scales were installed still in use, regularly tested and sealed for accuracy.
Byrne said neither he nor Mayfield has made plans beyond the closing sale. Once the stock is sold out, they hope to sell the building and site, he said.
Another old-timer about the store is a pickup truck which Byrne described as "of this generation" -- a 1939 truck with the original paint and lettering on it. The truck is still in regular use.
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