WEST LAFAYETTE — It has stood at the corner of Main and Kirk Street for a little over one hundred and thirty years, an icon to the village of West Lafayette, soon to be no more than a memory.
The Brothers Hardware & Variety Store has held memories for many over the years with everything from hardware supplies to penny candy.
In January, 2019 the building was determined by the fire chief, and several building inspectors that the structure is deemed condemned. According to the owner, Ed Chapdelaine, the business ceased operation several years ago, and has slowly been falling into disrepair. He said that the repairs to the building would be at a substantial cost and would basically cost more than what the building is appraised for. Chapdelaine said that while he cannot give a definitive answer as to the future of the Brothers Hardware & Variety Store building, he feels that most likely the structure would be razed within the next 6 to 8 months.
The building was constructed in 1888 by Samuel Craig, the original structure being a two-story, wooden frame, 24 x 60 foot. In 1891 Craig sold the building to R.A. McClure & Harvey Sicker. In 1901, R.A. McClure purchased Harvey Sicker’s interest and dissolved their partnership. In 1904, a partnership was formed by R.A. McClure and his son, R.J. McClure. In 1911 the building was completely renovated with the red brick façade being added to the front, and the building’s size enlarged to 36 x 80 feet.
On July 29, 1948 the business changed hands and became known as Nelson’s Variety Store. Two years later in 1950 Pete Brothers purchased the business and changed the name to the iconic, Brothers Store, a store that boasted prices of 5 cents to a dollar!
In 1953, Walter & Mae Rice purchased the business, and operated Brothers until they retired in 1989. On July 1, 1989 Rice’s son in-law, and daughter, Ed & Susan Rice Chapdelaine purchased the business and changed the name officially to Brothers Hardware & Variety Store.