A business that has anchored Main Street for more than 45 years is closing its doors at the end of September.

Jeff Haisler, owner of Haisler Hardware, said the store is closing for economic and personal reasons. “I’m done. I’ve been doing it forever,” he said.

Haisler started working in the store dusting shelves and sweeping floors when he was 10 years old. His father Tom Haisler moved from Juneau to Haines in 1968 to manage the store for owner John Schnabel. Tom brought his wife Georgia and three children with him.

Back then, the store was called Haines Lumber Company, or Schnabel Lumber. Its main trade was lumber, but it also had a small hardware store, about one-third the size of the current space, Georgia said this week.

Erma Schnabel was also running an “economy motel” out of the parking lot in the back of the building, where small trailers were staged.

In 1970, Tom bought the building and business from Schnabel, renaming it Haisler Hardware. “We added a housewares section and increased the size of the hardware area with a large emphasis on heavy tools used for the sawmill,” Georgia said.

The lumber portion of the business was phased out around 1977, Jeff said. In the early 1980s, Jeff and his brother Gregg bought the store and building from their father.

The store’s offerings have varied with the times. At one point, Haisler Hardware offered furniture and electronics. But with the advent of the Internet and big box stores, it became harder and harder to compete, Georgia said.

“It just isn’t the same amount of business,” she said. “Too much has changed. It’s not the same situation.”

The slowest months are between Jan. 1 and May 1, Jeff said. Even the busier months can’t keep the business very viable; otherwise he said he would have tried to sell it instead of renting out the space.

Jeff will retain ownership of the building, which includes 17 apartment rentals and seven business rentals. He will rent out the hardware store space to Talia’s Treasures, a consignment shop currently located near 1 Mile Haines Highway.

Jeff isn’t going anywhere, but he said he will still miss the people who walk through the door every day looking for specific items, and those who oftentimes just stop by for a chat.

“That’s what makes this place special. There are lots of places that are pretty and have a view, but it’s the people here,” he said.

Georgia Haisler, 81, echoed the sentiment. “I have always enjoyed working with the products and I have really enjoyed seeing the people, both my friends and people I haven’t met yet,” she said. “It was just a pleasure.”