Jackson’s Do It Best Hardware – We’re turning 100!

Jackson’s Do It Best Hardware – We’re turning 100!

It’s hard to think about downtown Ishpeming without thinking about Jackson’s Hardware on Main Street. The family-owned business, in operation since 1914, is celebrating its centennial in September and is a great example of a successful small business. With 100 years of business in the books, here is a historic look back on Jackson’s Hardware:

In the early 1900s, before it was Jackson’s Hardware, the building was a furniture store called Leininger’s Furniture and Hardware. William Jackson was employed there, but decided to open his own business in 1914.

His business opened as Ishpeming Furniture and Hardware Company, which was located on the northwest corner of Division Street and Pine Street in downtown Ishpeming — the current location of Globe Printing.

In 1945, William Jackson bought out the assets of Leininger’s Furniture and Hardware and moved his business into its location at 212 South Main Street, where the business remains today.

But for William Jackson, it wasn’t just furniture and hardware; he also attended the Worsam School of Embalming and worked part time for Mudge’s Funeral Home. When Mudge’s decided to sell the business, William Jackson purchased the building and equipment and established   Jackson Funeral Home on the southeast corner of Third and Ridge Streets.

William Jackson utilized the back of Jackson’s Hardware for funeral home client consultations. After making funeral arrangements, clients would take an elevator to the third floor, where there was a casket display room.

There was also an embalming room in the hardware store, which served as a back-up location to the funeral home.

After William Jackson’s death, Bjork and Zhulkie bought the Jackson Funeral Home assets in 1969, and all mortuary business ceased operation in the hardware store.

William Jackson’s son, Clifford Jackson, had assisted his father in both the hardware and mortuary business, receiving degrees from Northern Michigan University and the Michigan College of Mortuary Science.

Then Clifford Jackson’s son, John Jackson, grew up doing odd jobs around the hardware store. When John Jackson was in college, the bookkeeper of the hardware store retired, and John Jackson took over the financials. After he graduated college in 1973, John Jackson began full time work at Jackson’s Hardware, and is now the sole proprietor since Clifford Jackson’s death in 2003.

“It’s awesome to be in business for 100 years,” said Andrea Jackson, employee at Jackson’s Hardware and daughter of John Jackson. “We have customers that came in with their parents as kids and now take their grand kids in with them.”

Andrea Jackson is the recipient of the 2013 Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce “Volunteer of the Year” award. She often works with local organizations to coordinate events and helps out with numerous activities, festivals, and races.

John Jackson would like to thank everyone for shopping locally and supporting the store throughout the years.

Earlier this year, Jackson’s Hardware had a $1,000 shopping spree giveaway as a part of the Centennial Celebration. An anniversary party will be held in September, along with Customer Appreciation days throughout the remainder of the year.


Congratulations on being Featured Business of the Month, and to celebrating 100 years of business. Here’s to 100 more!