Century-old Sledge Hardware store closing in Tuscaloosa

      {}{}{}{} Sledge Hardware has been a staple in downtown Greensboro for a century.{} Anne-Sledge Bailey and her husband, whose name is Whitelaw Bailey, are packing it up and calling it quits.{} Mrs. Bailey's great uncle first opened the business around 1910.{} "When times were hard, he moved over into this building because it was a little smaller."

      {}{}{}{} Sledge Hardware grew into a household name in Hale County.{} Since its beginning, the store has sold most everything needed to fix problem in house...from pipes to fixtures.{} Mr. Bailey says, "Most of the people who came through the door you knew them and knew more or less where they lived."

      {}{}{}{} Bailey is talking about customers like James Thomas.{} He's been shopping at Sledge Hardware for about 45 years.{} He learned Wednesday while ABC 33/40 was there that the store is going out of business. "Ah, man this is going to be a different world. I don't believe it -- really I don't," he laughed in disbelief.

      {}{}{}{} The Baileys have run the hardware store themselves since 1991.{} It's been passed down from relatives over the years.{} Mr Bailey runs the sales floor while Mrs Bailey does the accounting in an upstairs lodge in the back of the building.{} She recalls when they took over that{}she had just had brain surgery.{} She says "It was ideal for us because whitelaw was so good at hardware things."

      {}{}{}{} The couple says they're getting older and simply looking for a new adventure. "Quite a few [people] have come by and said -{}I didn't believe you'd ever do this or whatever and{}I say well time has passed and I don't want to do it anymore I'm just going to move forward."

      {}{}{}{}{}{}Sledge customers such as Thomas{}say they don't have a Lowe's or Home Depot nearby -- so this place has been quite convenient.{} "If I'm staying two or three blocks away from here I can walk and get my parts and everything."

      {}{}{}{}{}{}The store's last day open is June 1, 2013.{}{} Until then, all merchandise in the store is being sold at half price.