Charles H. Willis built the Willis Hardware Store around 1886. The Store abutted the street immediately to the west of the Willis-Dean house at 6 Railroad Avenue and immediately to the east of the East New Market Bank. By the 1940s the structure was used as a fire station. The store is pictured behind the bank in the photos above and to the left. The Willis Hardware Store is no longer standing.
Neil Frampton asked his sister Rita Frampton Sulpy about her memories of the Willis Hardware Store. She was born around 1931.
"Rita was only two when her parents bought the old empty Willis building for use as a grocery. She was 6 when the family moved to the new store bldg in 1937. She remembers a raised stage in the rear of the second floor, with primary access in earlier days from a door on the rear left side. That door led to a narrow hallway at the foot of the stairs, and also gave access to the store area in front. Rita said besides the stage, there was ample seating room, and two bedrooms in the front of the second floor. Her parents had their living room in the 1st floor rear, along with a tiny kitchen."
Neil Frampton plans to ask some more questions of the surviving firemen who worked there in the late 30's and up until they moved to the corner brick bldg around 1949.