ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


ACE Hardware

1938: 210 E Main Street

1950:  302-304 E Main

Today:  401 Bernard Street



In March 1938 the Watertown branch was opened at 210 E Main.



1950s, Edgar (Ed) Wurtz, mgr



1957, 304 E Main, ad


1957c and 2008, 302-304 E Main, WHS_006_035b_comparison


1957c, 302-304 E Main, 1950s-70s city assessor form, WHS_006_035a

1957c, 302-304 E Main, 1950s-70s city assessor image, WHS_006_035b



07 17       25TH ANNIVERSARY

The Harris ACE Hardware Store in Watertown, located at 302 Main Street, is observing its 25th anniversary.  This is store No. 105.  The ACE Hardware has an interesting business success story behind it.  In March 1938 the Watertown branch was opened at 210 Main Street.  The first manager was Fred Heidtke.  Other managers over the years included Herman Howard and Edgar Wurtz who are well known in Watertown and are presently interested in their own businesses.




Ace Hardware, one of Watertown’s major downtown retailers, will move to the former Farm & Fleet store in the south side shopping center later this year.  That move, along with the relocation of Klink Oil’s retail tire replacement and vehicle maintenance facility to the same building, were announced today by the Grinwald family, owner of the Fleet property.  The move will more than double the amount of retail space for Ace, and will allow Klink to expand its business into new areas.


Cross Reference:   05 12 1967:  Farm and Fleet, a new store in Watertown, has opened, and is ready to serve the shopping public.  The store is located on the west side of highway 26, at the intersection of Bernard Street, opposite the site for the proposed shopping center.  It is housed in a Butler steel building, 100 by 192 feet and contains 19,200 square feet of floor space.  It is a self-service store, offering a large variety of farm and home supplies.  The store building is erected on a site of approximately two acres, thus providing ample parking space for customers.



04 01       ACE HARDWARE SOLD, Ownership change

Bob and Anne Krystyniak, who have led Watertown Ace Hardware to spectacular growth over their 18 years of ownership, have sold the business to a father and son team which operates hardware stores in the Milwaukee area.  Jim Blair and his father, Robert, became the new owners of the business today.  Employees were told of the impending change in meetings over the weekend.  The Blairs operate hardware stores in Menomonee Falls and New Berlin and also have a commercial/ industrial division called Induserve Supply which will also be available in Watertown.



Cross References:



Farm & Fleet of Watertown plans to relocate its local store from 401 Bernard St. to a larger site at state Highway 19 and Welsh Road.  Bert Blaine, president of Blaine Supply Inc. in Janesville, said his firm expects to break ground next spring for the store, which will have at least 100,000 square feet of space.  “We’ve got to have more space for parking as well as a larger store,” Blaine said today.  “We can’t enlarge the one that we have there.”  The current Farm & Fleet building has 55,000 square feet and restricted parking.  Also, it is located at the southwest corner of Church and Bernard streets, one of the most congested intersections in the city. 




Farm & Fleet expects to offer more product lines and a wider variety of items in its new store, which opened at its new location at 1400 W. Main St. last week.  Employees are still putting the finishing touches on the new facility, but the store is ready to meet the needs of its Watertown-area customers, according to Bert Blain, president of Farm Supply Inc. of Janesville, the parent company of Farm & Fleet.  “We haven’t changed our business practices, only our location,” Blain said. “We appreciate the business Watertown and the surrounding community have given us. Now we will serve those loyal customers better.”




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin