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About Around Town Damascus

A small town, nestled between the three biggest cities in the state, Damascus’ history is as rich as its present. It is a farm town to some, a suburb to others and home to thousands. Living in Damascus for close to 30 years, Betsy Freeman has seen it grow and... Read more

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9930 Main Street

The door swings open and the floor boards creak. Someone is asking if the watering cans are on sale this week. Move past the old cash registers towards a pile of garden hoses and then it hits you. The smell of dried grass and fertilizer is first. No need to look far to find the kids, they are in the aisle near the side wall, dipping their hands in the barrels of seeds and laughing. It never gets old for them. The feeling of the different textures of seeds cascading through their small fingers, back into the containers.

Keep walking down the main aisle and the smell is now different, metallic. Galvanized displays with compartments holding vast amounts of screws, bolts, nails and washers. Find the nails for your home repair and buy only as many as you need. The ones with odd shapes or large sizes are “the cool ones” that the kids pick up and look at. Spools of rope and chain hang near the wall. Shelves offer up two styles of toilet seats, a handful of door knobs, various furnace filters…not whole aisles of one product, but enough to give you a choice because you really don’t need twenty-five options from which to choose.

Down the ancient staircase to the smell of wood and paneling and fencing material. Who cares what is really down there? The old staircase is just awesome enough to make the trip worthwhile. Boyer and Cramer’s Paint and Hardware store in Damascus was a hallmark in the center of town for decades. The memories are of the people, the contents and the positive times we spent in that building.

IMG_4622But the hardware store gave way to a fitness center and a whole set of new memories not only for a new generation, but also for those of us who knew the building in its former life. Drive by Fitness 4 You and see the people streaming in and out of those same doors, see the parents, with toddlers in tow, running in for a workout and teenagers painting the windows for homecoming every year and you can see the memories still being made at 9930 Main Street. The memories are of the people, the contents and the positive times we spend in that building.

In most small towns like Damascus, there are old buildings and new buildings. The new are needed to keep a growing population employed and supported. But there is a positive side to being able to reuse a building in a small town. Call it a “memory-generator.” For some, a hardware store, for others, a fitness center and in the future, the memories are endless.

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Betsy Freeman

About Betsy Freeman

Betsy Freeman knows Damascus, Maryland and has seen it grow and change and yet stay the same in many ways. Creator and monitor of an active town online group, Betsy keeps in touch daily with the thoughts, issues, concerns and the great big, little town presence of Damascus.


2 Responses to “9930 Main Street”

  1. Avatar
    On September 4, 2014 at 3:09 pm responded with... #

    Boyer and Cramer’s was my first job out of high school. We had the old style cash registers where you actually had to count the change back to the customers. We knew all of our customers by their first names. Loved that place! Nothing like a hand shake from Mr. Charlie Cramer, and only a few people left will know what that means! That’s for those memories Betsy!

  2. Avatar
    On September 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm responded with... #

    What a great story – I had no idea there was so much history behind this store! At first I was confused about why a story about Hyatt’s [I assumed] had a picture of F4U 🙂

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