Simplicity online Featured

9:34am EDT July 22, 2002

Lehman's hardware store in Kidron -- "the gateway to Amish country," as marketing director Glenda Lehman Ervin calls it -- is one of those stores that surprises even the most seasoned shoppers, a place that can best be described as the 19th-century equivalent of a Home Depot.

There are whole departments in the 15,000-square-foot store devoted to decorative Old World hardware, oil-burning lamps and accessories, wood-burning stoves, grain mills, water pumps, garden tools and housewares such butter churns, cast-iron pots and pans and wooden spoons.

The store sells its wares to people in all 50 states and 162 countries through its 24-hour, toll-free order line at (800) 438-5346 and its Web site at www.lehmans.com. The clientele, which Lehman Ervin describes as a combination of "the serious and the curious," includes hobbyists, nostalgia buffs, campers, boaters, vacation homeowners, ranchers, missionaries, doctors in Third World hospitals, environmentalists, self-sufficient individualists Lehman Ervin calls homesteaders and even celebrities.

"Julia Child owns a stove from us," she says. "Martha Stewart has purchased from us before. And Burt Wolf (host of the CNN-produced "What's Cooking with Burt Wolf") was just here. He cooked on a wood cookstove, interviewed my brother and spent the day with us."