Tomorrow, I have a GardenLine appearance at the Pearland Lumber and Ace Hardware store, 2027 N. Main St. You may also know it as Highway 35 or Telephone Road. I’ll be there 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and it gives me a great excuse to offer a profile on the store.
It will be my first time back in several years, and I’m looking forward to the visit for sentimental reasons. My father, who passed away in the spring of 2017, was a longtime Pearland resident. And, for more than 20 years, anytime I had an appearance or speaking engagement in the Pearland area, he would always be there. So, while I’ll be sad not to see him hanging around, watching his son ply his trade, I’m certain he will be there in spirit. And that’s not just silly sentiment. He spent a lot of time and money at this Ace Hardware store. Many longtime Pearland residents may recognize the Lemmon name from his area real estate business. With all the homes he bought and rented, or flipped or flat-out sold, he made countless trips to this Ace Hardware to pick up all the things he needed for changing locks, painting rooms, fertilizing yards and killing fire ant mounds.
Let’s take a little stroll further down memory lane. The original Suttle Lumber Company was first chartered in 1952. In August, 1956, the name was changed to Pearland Lumber Company, and the Loessin family bought it in June, 1958. At the time, there were four employees including a driver to make deliveries in the company's one and only truck. The original store, located on the southeast corner of Main and Orange Streets, consisted of a small showroom, one office, and one lumber shed. The population of Pearland at the time was less than 1,500 people. Think about that for a second - Pearland’s population today exceeds 200,000.
During the 1960s, the company began to grow, and a warehouse was added for expanded inventory. The company also purchased 10 lots at the corner of Houston and Orange Streets to accommodate future growth. In 1966, the company joined Ace Hardware and is presently the oldest Ace-affiliated store in Texas. During the 1970s, the company acquired 10 acres on the northeast corner of Main and Orange Streets to prepare for a new facility. Two warehouses were constructed on the property, and the company moved into the current showroom in June 1979. So, Pearland Lumber & Ace Hardware has been part of the community for almost 60 years, privileged to serve many loyal customers. And my dad was one of them for nearly half that time.
I have long respected John Loessin and his Pearland Ace store because he was one of a handful of Ace operators in the region instrumental in creating today’s highly respectable Greater Houston Ace Retailer Group.
Tomorrow, during my visit, I’ll be giving away a plethora of product from Nitro-Phos. Some folks who join me will get a four-pound jar of plant food just for asking good questions. And everyone can register for a chance to win bags of Nitro-Phos products, from Imperial 15-5-10 and Barricade to Sweet Green or Super Turf. As always, you don’t to be present to win, but you do have to be there between 11 and 1 to sign up. This will also be your final opportunity to get signed copies of my book, Texas Tough Gardening.