CHESTER, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — “Anytime I want to see something or something that I don’t want to go to Walmart, I say, well I’d rather go to Ezell’s,” a longtime customer said.

When you drive down one Chester’s main roads, you’re bound to see Ezell’s Hardware Store, the oldest hardware store in South Carolina.

“That’s been in the same building, same location and never closed,” said John Barry Wilson. He’s the latest owner of Ezell’s.

Since 1886, Ezell’s has been right here, servicing people from North and South Carolina, and even Georgia.

“If we didn’t have Ezell’s and we just had the other one, we’d be lost,” a customer said.

In August, the store will be featured in a PBS documentary, showcasing not only the store’s age but one-of-a-kind originality.

“The fact that it’s still open and still ran as a hardware store, a full line hardware store which is very few left around the country because of the big boxes taking a lot of them over,” Wilson said.


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Wilson bought the business in 1975, but before that, the hardware store had four previous owners and a different name.

“The first owner was Mr. Irvin, from 1886 to 1912. And Mr. Murphy bought it and he sold it to Mr. Richardson in 1943. And Mr. Richardson sold it to Mr. Ezell in 1955, and I bought it from Mr. Ezell in 1975 and I wasn’t from here, so I didn’t change the name of the business,” he said.

Wilson says it’s their customer service that’s kept their doors open.

“I treat everybody the same, everybody gets good treatment, everybody gets good service. That’s the way we’ve been in business for 137 years.”

Wilson says his son is next in line to take over the business. The documentary is set to air on August 12. There will be a special preview on July 28.

By AKDSEO