PALESTINE, Texas — Local businesses are the backbone of a community and one family-owned hardware store in Palestine recently celebrated their 90th year.
Braly's Ace Hardware, located at 420 W. Palestine Ave., has seen five generations over the years and given a beloved 1938 elementary school a new purpose.
"For our 90th anniversary, we decided to do a party and customer appreciation. Lots of food cakes, cookies, had a wonderful turnout," said Vicki Braly, co-owner Braly's Ace Hardware. "All of our customers coming to celebrate with us. They were all very proud of us."
Braly's Hardware opened its doors in 1932.
"The Triplett family has been shopping here for 65 years," said Elaine Triplett, a long time customer. "I can't imagine Palestine without Braly's because it's such an enjoyable place to come and shop and find what you need."
Another customer Anne Harris added that Braly's just means hometown and a wonderful family.
Marjorie Braly, a third-generation owner, said her grandsons are working at the store now and it's amazing to have a business last that long.
"My grandfather WJ Franklin started as a sawmill man, but he opened the business on North Jackson to sell this lumber and my father Neual Braly started here in 1935. He changed it to Braly's Builders Supply," Marjorie Braly said.
Marjorie Braly said the store moved to its current location, the historic Rusk elementary school, in 2013.
"I had been thinking about this place for about seven years and it came up for sale by the city. We wanted something with character, like our old building. It was just a really cool old elementary school," said Stephen Braly, a fourth-generation and current co-owner. "A lot of people who went school here come to visit and we get a lot of out of town visitors."
Harris added it's wonderful to see the elementary school be preserved.
"Some of our customers are generational, their grandparents brought them they've been supportive through the old store through the new store," Vicki Braly said. "They were so excited when we used Rusk school."
Marjorie Braly added a lot of them still remember her father, which means a lot to her.
Triplett said she sees a lot of friends at the store and has great conversations.
"It's a very home spun atmosphere," Triplett said. "Palestine is blessed to have this store here."
Harris said that feeling shows just how much the family is adored and what they provide.
"This new store is fantastic," Harris said. "You can find anything. Anything the big cities have, we have it here."
Vicki Braly said the store grows every year and works to provide more products for customers to shop locally.
"It is a goal of ours to reinvest in this business," she said.