Way back at the beginning of 2015, I did a post on Kelly Seed & Hardware Co. which has been located in downtown Peoria for decades. I see it almost every day going to work and had never stopped in to take a look around back then. So I went and I got a nice tour of the store and I planned to stop back for another visit. That was over a year and a half ago, so I’d say we’re kind of overdue for a visit! So it’s away we go to downtown Peoria to take a look around at one of Peoria’s oldest family-owned retail downtown businesses!
Here we are at the corner of Hamilton and Washington street in beautiful downtown Peoria. I thought we’d start here in the back of the building, because I wanted to spotlight the sign back here, we’re welcome here! I love it when that happens!
Okay, up the street we go to the front of the building and before we go inside, check out the Aladdin Kerosene Mantle Lamps poster in the window. I was mesmerized by that for some reason and stared at it for many minutes before entering the store. It’s hypnotizing, I tell ya!
Once inside, I’m reminded of what I thought about on my last trip here, while the name of the store is Kelly Seed & Hardware Co., there’s a lot more in here than just seed and hammers. Check out the owl barometer dial thingy in the bottom picture! What a hoot! Oof, sorry about that, let’s just keep moving along!
There’s all kinds of fun things in here to look at from interesting bird houses, to bird baths and custom-made ceramic lawn art to books ranging from orchids to vegetable gardens to chicken gardens. Chicken gardens? Oh, that must be where they grow all the food that tastes like...chicken!
Hard to believe that Halloween is coming up, but these items prove that fact!
There’s even more bird houses over here, mailboxes and a nice display of pocketknives for all of you cut-ups out there.
I think one thing that would surprise people that have never been in here, is all the kitchen supplies and cookware for sale in here. And it’s all cast iron, no teflon in here! Which is good, because teflon sucks monkey lungs!
Oh, oh, time to take a Spinal Tap pause here...okay, let’s keep moving along now!
I’ve shown that this place is a lot more than just seeds, but if that’s what you’re looking for, there’s plenty of seeds to be found in here. Here’s seeds in bags, bins and packets, oh my!
Here’s a display of yard rakes to spread around...
Nick and Matthew showed me some archival photos that are kept behind the desk back there, the top photo is the corner where Kelly Seed stands today and the second photo is an aisle in the original store. The bottom photo is an early photo of Kelly Seed & Hardware. The store was first owned and operated by W.G. Kelly. Later in 1956, Nick and Matthew’s grandfather, Harold Church bought the store from Kelly after working there for 20 years and now Nick and Matthew are running this time-honored, family-owned Peoria business!
In addition to the archival photos, Matthew showed me a couple of antiques from World War II he found in a local park while on a metal hunting excursion. The top is some shells and a stripper clip and below that is a hat pin that’s shown in the photo at the bottom. Very cool!
There’s also antiques looming overhead in Kelly Seed! There’s a whole row of vintage porcelain containers lining the back wall just under the ceiling and I love the Peoria Pickle Works jar! Below that is a bag of seed from decades ago here at Kelly Seed! This has been a great trip and I’ve enjoyed looking around in here again, but this post just needs something. Hmm...what could it be? Oh wait...I know...