Family heirloom tools the only items not for sale at Harmar antique shop
Patty Wright isn't sure how many things are for sale in the two floors of her Harmar antique shop, but she knows there are a lot.
On the first floor, though, there's a display of old tools and other things that aren't for sale. They belonged to her great-grandfather, Alfred Kendrick, a machinist who came to America from England in the late 19th century.
Wright, of O'Hara, never met him. He died in 1918, long before she was born. But she feels she knows him through the things he left behind.
Among them are the tools he made, with his name and the date etched into them.
“I feel so connected with him,” she said. “So much more so since I put this together.”
Wright has been running Riverview Antique N Marketplace on Freeport Road for going on three years. She took possession of her great-grandfather's things a few months ago, following the death of her brother in January, who had them in the basement of his Shaler home.
Wright said others in her family just wanted to get rid of them. She couldn't let that happen, so she bought them.
“Maybe I'm an old soul,” she said. “I've always cherished anything old in my family.”
Kendrick immigrated to America from England in 1886. He settled in Etna and worked as a machinist until retiring in 1913.
On display is Kendrick's naturalization certificate, dated 1905.
He made miniature machines as a hobby.
“Each model moved just like the original and they were driven by a miniature steam engine,” reads a write-up Wright has on display. “Making these tiny machines was Mr. Kendrick's favorite pastime and you could find him most any time working in his machine shop at home.”
“It just blows me away he was that talented,” Wright said.
The prized possession is his pedal lathe, which he used to make his tools and machine parts.
“I've had so many people who come in and want to buy it,” Wright said.
Wright said she doesn't have any grand plan for her great-grandfather's things.
“I just like it,” she said. “I'm going to keep it here.
“This will be its home for as long as I'm here.”