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slow and research everything you do. Archivist, James Borchert who likens the store to a time capsule. But instead of a few relics in a box, everything here is a relic. A collectors Shangri La.
Although he works with and repairs high tech computers, Donley, just 36, has a real passion for historic preservation instilled by his father. It was for that reason that Gary Hoffelt, dying of cancer, turned down higher offers for the family business.
afternoon, Gary came in here and he got to pour that soda for his son and he actually died three days later.
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They found that someone in Harvey Donley.
Donley and his sons have spent every free moment cleaning the original marble floors and tin ceiling and the biggest challenge of all, getting the 3 and a half ton solid marble and stainless steel soda fountain restored to working order.
On December 9th, the Hoffelt Drug Store will open again all decked out for Christmas. You can enjoy a soda from the fountain and musical entertainment.
just knew that this Nike Uptempo Fuse 360 Black/Pink Force is one place I could save. I didn't want it to be torn up. I wanted it to stay here forever.
He says, next plan for it will be Estelline's 125th birthday next year. We want to have the front of the building done for that. We want the original canopy back up. We want to open all the glass back up.
Every receipt for everything that was ever bought is still here going back to 1911.
that's a treasure. The store was open for over 90 years and they sold products all that time so in one box you might find an item from the 80's and at the bottom of that box you might find something interesting from 1911 or even earlier, he says.
When Donley opened the store to visitors for a month last September, 3 thousand people showed up.
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Borchert adds, definitely worth the trip. You'll never see another thing like this anywhere. If you're a collector or if you just like history you can come and look at these things and this is the way they should be.
Every time we open a box we find something Nike Air More Uptempo Size 7
And over the last three years, that's just what he's done.
Donley says the Hoffelts never through anything away.
But inside, it's filled with things that would make an Antiques Road Show appraiser drool.
People who've lived in this Hamlin County community all their lives probably don't pay much attention to the old Hoffelt Drug Store on Main Street. It's just always been there.
antiques that are in here are in such pristine condition that it makes my job as caretaker of antiques easy, Borchert says.
In fact when it finally closed in 1998, the family kept the heat and electricity on hoping to find someone who cared as much about the place as they did to buy it.
To say this is a museum is an understatement. You've never seen a museum like this. The old drug store has things that were never sold in display cases that are original, old cameras that were never used still for sale, clocks and even men's and ladies hats in original boxes some probably 70 years old.
said, Harvey you know my sons have never had a soda out of this fountain and I told him if you sell it to me, we'll get it up and running.
The store has remained virtually unchanged through three generations of Hoffelt ownership.
A Time Capsule
Donley says, told me he'd sell it to me. I told him I was going to make a museum out of it.
Just how determined is Donley? He tracked down the original front door in Iowa, he found an invoice for a Victrola phonograph sold at Hoffelt's in 1913 and was able to track it down in New York and buy it back.
It was a promise he'd made to the ailing Gary Hoffelt.
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