Hardware Retailing

FEB 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | February 2017 90 T hese two pursuits go hand-in-calloused- hand with one another when it comes to forging a new nation. Early pioneers literally bet their lives on their ability to raise cattle and crops, and the tools they used to support these pursuits were indispensable. Perhaps it is because of this industrial synergy that it is particularly apt to find what is arguably the nation's largest tool museum tucked away on an idyllic farm in rural Tennessee. Anyone with links to either farming or hardware should be drawn to this unique location, where both the agriculture and hardware history of the pioneers are honored. For the average hardware store owner, who carries on the proud tradition of the tool peddlers that came before them, this hidden gem is as much a tribute to their trade as it is a curiosity. Hardware Retailing recently got the opportunity to visit this beautiful place, and in the following pages we will share some of its breathtaking scenery with you. The Farm This rolling 1,200 acres of prime pasture, grass and woodlands carries the somewhat beguiling name of Lone Oaks Farm and is located about an hour and half east of Memphis. Lone Oaks Farm is many thingsā€”a working cattle ranch, a corporate retreat, a wedding destination and a place for college students and local youth to study agriculture. The farm, in its current state, was borne from the minds of developers Scott and Kathy Ledbetter. They originally acquired the property as a rural retreat from their busy lives. Slowly, they began developing the rough-hewn property into more of a living homage to the rural lifestyle, agriculture and, yes, tools. The Ledbetters, together with local land management experts and planners, added facilities to the land, developed a road system so the area could be easily traveled and forged a long-term vision for what Lone Oaks Farm could become. Every tool a hardware junkie could imagine has a place somewhere in the sale barn at Lone Oaks Farm. In addition to functioning as a working auction center for cattle and a tool museum, the sale barn is also available for corporate functions and meetings. It features a sleeping facility and a full kitchen.

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