My husband and I do some strange, non-touristy things on our weekend getaways to Amish Indiana. Maybe it’s in preparation for moving there in a few years, I don’t know. One of the places that we visit regularly is Town & Country Hardware.
This little hardware store sits across the street (Route 5) from Yoder’s Department Store in Shipshewana, just south of Wana Cup Restaurant and north of the Auction Barn. I doubt too many tourists go there, but it’s a great favorite among the locals, both “English” and Amish. But we’ve made some strange purchases there—strange for tourists, at least.
It’s an old-fashioned hardware store, with very little that is flashy or fancy. Like so many things in Amish Indiana, it’s like stepping back in time. The sign outside says “Gifts – Collectibles – Pottery – Baskets – Crafts”… but I don’t recall seeing much of those kinds of things in there! The minute you step in the door, there’s a small checkout counter or two, and then just rows and rows of stuff. Everything to be found in an old-fashioned hardware store of my youth is there, along with items that have the Amish in mind, and also the local farmers. I love the seed bins the best.
One time my husband (pictured above) had his hot rod and trailer along, and a sharp turn severed a woven-wire cable. He was able to purchase a length of cable there, and the employee on duty took us to the back room, where he looped it around and fashioned a fastener to hold the loop in place. It was better than the original cable.
Another time my husband was looking for a special kind of chrome fastener for his hot rod, and he needed twenty of them. He hadn’t found them at home, but he found them there.
We’ve bought felt pads for the legs of our bar stools, tin Christmas ornaments, annuals for the garden, kitchen gadgets, and other items too numerous to mention.
Town & Country isn’t for the typical tourist, but for a taste of real life in a small Amish-English town, take a stroll down the aisles. You might find something you can’t live without.
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