Chico's First Hardware Store
When the local Masonic Lodge was in need of a new facility, it was George F. Jones, a brother of that order, who suggested a second story be added to the single story building he was constructing on the corner of Front Street (now 1st Street) and Broadway. The Lodge and the local chapter of the International Order of the Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) collaborated on the effort and pooled their funds for the $10,840 cost of the project. The fraternities met in the upper story of the building and rented out the lower story to respectable businesses.
When the building was finished in 1871, the lower story was occupied by one of several hardware stores in the downtown area and has been to the present day save for a brief period from 1913-1915 where the lower story served as the local post office.
Returning from WWI, Liston Clark became the new owner of the hardware business in 1920, took on Charlie Collier as a partner in 1935 and the business became known as Collier-Clark Hardware. Business went well enough for Clark to retire in 1944 and Collier took over, changing the name to Collier Hardware.
In 1945, Collier decided to retire and sell the store. Cecil Hitt, the regional salesman for the wholesale hardware distributor, Dunham, Carringan, and Hayden, convinced his boss, Walter Bamman, to buy it with him. The pair’s contacts in San Francisco kept Collier Hardware popular and profitable through WWII. In 1950, Bamman sold out to Jack Bowen in 1950, although he still worked there on the weekends until he retired.
Who We Are
A young Sylvester (Syl) Lucena worked at Collier Hardware through his school-age years and then returned from a successful teaching career to buy in as a partner in 1963 when Bowen retired. When Cecil Hitt decided to retire in 1971, Syl bought Hitt’s remaining shares and took over the business in whole.
Currently, Syl, two of his sons, Marc and Matt, and new business partners Julie Lengerich and Becky Rodrigues, run the store as taught by their predecessors – with business savvy and excellent customer service.
Here for you today and tomorrow
Being the oldest business in Chico, Collier Hardware is located in a historical 150+ year-old building, and is considered a downtown landmark. We carry not only a variety of hardware items and BBQs, but also an extensive selection of kitchen goods and gadgets in our homewares department. We have a reputation for being a name you can trust, providing superior customer service. If we don’t have the item you need, we’ll do our best to direct you to someone that would.
Our mission is to serve customers and the community with friendliness and such dedication to finding solutions that our service will make the home improvement and shopping process enjoyable, exciting, and most importantly successful for everyone. We are a value driven business who believes in strong relationships, taking care of the customer, superior service, and lasting trust.