MILEPOSTS #991

By Bill Pumford, Image from Russ Keller Collection

TITLE: RUSSELL HARDWARE IN CRESTLINE: This week’s image is a postcard photo of the Frank C. Russell Hardware Store from the 1920’s. The hardware store was built in 1925 and was located in Upper Crestline on Crest Forest Drive. The store carried hardware, plumbing, and electrical supplies, as well as Rockgas (a type of propane), gasoline, Fuller paints and varnishes, and oil. Frank Russell sold cabins in the Crestline area for reasonable monthly payments. He sponsored a cooking school in June of 1936 which took place at the Native Sons Hall in Crestline and utilized Hotpoint electric stoves supplied by Russell’s hardware store. A nice bit of marketing. The hardware store also supplied an item which was new on the market, Coleman oil burning heaters. Mr. Russell was an active member of the community and strongly supported the building of the High Gear Road. He was a member and past president of the Crestline Chamber of Commerce, a charter member of the Crestline Lions Club, past president of the Crestline Mutual Water Company, a board member of the Crest Fire District, and a member of the Mountain Advisory Board of the County Flood Control District. In 1940 Mr. Russell was elected as the Assemblyman for the 73rd District which included his beloved mountains. In 1941 legal ownership of the Russell Hardware store changed to his daughter Evlon Russell Camp and son-in-law Robert Camp. In 1943 legal ownership of the hardware store returned to Frank Russell. In October of 1957 Frank Russell died of cancer at the age of 80 after a long life of serving his community. He was survived by his widow Daisy, two daughters, Mrs. Ione Stickel and Mrs. Evlon Camp, and a granddaughter Toni Christine Camp. The Russell Hardware Store has had numerous tenants and has undergone a number of renovations during the past six decades. The building is now occupied by the business “My Favorite Things.”

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