My Visit To Towne Hardware and General Store


Their Baseball Hat
Their Baseball Hat

I don’t know about you, but I am having serious difficulties with this pandemic and not being able to travel. It’s been over a year since my last trip, which was to Antarctica in February of 2020. At the time, I had a whole year of travel and workshops planned, but they were all shut down as a result of the pandemic.  

I have gone on some photo-shooting trips within a day’s drive from my home, but these sites are not the same as some of the great places I used to visit on a regular basis. Heck, I live in Indiana. I don’t see many iconic landscape photos from Indiana.

Classic corner entrance
Classic corner entrance

Before Christmas, I needed to make a trip to the Asheville area of North Carolina so I could visit one of my sons. It was going to be a fast weekend trip, so I didn’t have a chance to make plans to go take pictures anywhere. It was great to visit my son though, and that’s what the trip was all about.

On Saturday during my visit, I went to breakfast in Black Mountain, a neighboring town. Black Mountain is one of those special little villages that has its own charm. There are many crafts stores and such; it’s kind of a tourist town.  

Cap guns and caps like we used to have as kids
Cap guns and caps like we used to have as kids
Cap guns and caps like we used to have as kids
Cap guns and caps like we used to have as kids

After my breakfast, I decided to walk around the town. While doing so, I stumbled upon the Town Hardware Store and General Store. I loved the display in the window, and it brought back memories of spending Saturday mornings with my dad visiting the local hardware store. Such fond memories, as my dad would talk to other men there and us kids were left to roam and explore.  

Most of the hardware stores as I knew them as a kid have been replaced by Home Depot and Lowe’s superstores. There aren’t many mom-and-pop hardware stores left. So, when I walked in to Town Hardware, I had immediate flashbacks to being a kid. Within a few steps, I knew I had found someplace special.

When was the last time you saw one of these?
When was the last time you saw one of these?

I spent the next hour and another hour the following day walking around and exploring, finding tons of fun things to take pictures of. None of these images will be portfolio shots. But, I was shooting pictures and having fun with a bit of nostalgia mixed in. 

This place was amazing and had the most wonderful things. I found something interesting to photograph on nearly every shelf. I tried to photograph things like cap guns and their caps because I hadn’t seen something like that since I was a kid (a real long time ago). The bins where the nails and screws were made for a perfect abstract photo.


Back in my hotel later, I started sorting through the images and had some fun editing and working on them. Like I said, they are nothing super-special. I was happy because I was taking pictures. It felt good to try and find a vision in a hardware store. I need to keep my vision alive. For a few hours, it felt great to exercise my vision and my shutter finger.

I think it’s time we find more interesting places to photograph. There are opportunities everywhere, and I keep exploring new places like coffee shops, bakeries, bars, and antique stores. Look for abstracts, close-ups, different angles, and lighting. Keep your vision sharp and get out there and just do it.

Nail bin

I hope you enjoy the images in this article and the gallery below. Please feel free to share in the forum any images you may have done of places like this.

Thanks, and please stay safe.

These photos were all made with an iPhone 12 Pro Max and edited with Luminar AI

Kevin Raber
January 2021
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Article Type: Columns, MISC

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