Geneva’s oldest business is Briggs Hardware Store. It was begun in 1882 by Andrew G. Briggs.
The William Briggs family moved to Geneva in 1871. William’s son Andrew Briggs would make his mark in the town of Geneva. Charles Porter would buy his first property in Geneva in 1872. Andrew and Charles would become lifelong friends and business associates.
In November 1883 Andrew married Margaret Day, a native of Celina Ohio. She was the daughter of James Day who was an attorney and judge. Margaret and Gene Stratton-Porter both came to Geneva as young brides. Like their husbands, Margaret and Gene would become good friends. They would be founding members of a ladies literary society and the “The Birthday Club.” In 1894 the Porters and the Briggs would both hire architect Will Christen to build their homes (Limberlost Cabin and the Andrew Briggs home on Line Street).
The Briggs Hardware Store is unique in a modern world. It is a little like stepping back in time. The floors are wood and many of the display cabinets are decades old. It is a place where nails and candy can be purchased by the pound. Whether you have needs for your home or office or party supplies, you can find it at this gem of a store on Line Street in Geneva.
The store is owned by Andrew Briggs, a great grandson of the founder. It is managed by Marvin Schwartz who owns A.B. Schwartz Construction.
May the Briggs Hardware celebrate another 134 years in business!