Our next 1870s structure was built in 1874; it has long been known as Watson’s Hardware, but was originally Gilchrist’s Hardware. In 1890 Mr. Watson, a clerk in the hardware store across the street, bought an in interest in Mr. Gilchrist’s business. In 1893 Mr. Watson sold his shares to Mr. Gilchrist and bought an interest in another hardware store.
In January 1898 a fire severely damaged this building and Mr. Watson bought out Mr. Gilchrist, who had lost everything in the fire.
Until 1984 the south half of the building was rented out to different businesses, but a hardware store, with differing owners has been in the building for over 130 years.
In 1946 Mr. Moleyneaux, Mr. Watson’s son-in-law, remodeled the front of the building and inserted his name into the brickwork. In 1950 the Oberlin High School commencement speaker noted that only four businesses existed in Oberlin in 1950 that had been there in 1900. Today, only one of those businesses survives, Watson’s Hardware, though under a different owner, Charles Palmer.