Rock Hand Hardware has been part of the Helena Community since 1939. Originally we were a farm implement dealer selling and servicing farm Machinery. The store carried the parts and pieces while “Rock” traveled the surrounding counties selling equipment to area farmers and ranchers. Rock was a colorful character who loved to tell stories and visit with his customers. He knew the names of all the farm kids within a 100 mile radius, as well as where to show up just in time for the noon day dinner, and where to find the best piece of pie. Helena old timers might remember his daily early morning radio segment where Rock recounted his adventures and offered sage advice, with a corny presentation and maybe a little advertising thrown in as well. He would often start those stories with “Ed says….” And then weave some common sense wisdom for his listeners.
In the early days, the store was located on North Main St. in Helena. In 1971 Rock decided to move his operation to the present location. He built a small building, and as you can see in the pictures, the store was pretty much out in weeds on North Montana, and there wasn’t a lot of inventory.
We bought the store in 1975. With Rock’s faith in us, and Oren’s passion for his dream; we grew the store to twenty thousand square feet and inventory enough to solve all our customers’ hardware needs. Throughout our decades in the Helena community we have worked with many outstanding employees who have carried our customer service message and helped us to grow.
Our history, however, isn’t just about buildings and inventory. It’s also about family. When we bought the store, Rock and his wife Verna promptly put our pictures in their family photo albums, and welcomed us as part of their family with birthday and anniversary celebrations. So now, nearly 40 years later, with Eric leading the store and his daughter also working in the store, we are truly a fourth generation family owned business. Each year during our annual Bucket Sale, we celebrate that family, and our family of customers and employees who make Rock Hand Hardware a part of their community.