History of Mt. Pleasant Hardware
According to public record, Mt. Pleasant Hardware, Inc. is listed as an established business in the City of Providence since 1923. However, the business likely was operating since 1921 before being publicly recorded. Regardless, of its exact origination date, the iconic Providence business has been serving the greater Providence area and beyond for nearly 100 years!
The company has always had a presence in the Mount Pleasant section of the capitol city since its beginnings. Its original owner, Samuel Elman, ran the company from its original location at 1097 Chalkstone Avenue. The business also maintained a warehouse on nearby Academy Avenue. Upon Sam’s death, his son and daughter inherited the business.
In 1967 tragedy struck and a fire destroyed the original location and took the life of a local firefighter. The sibling-owners decided to make some changes and run two separate locations under the Mt. Pleasant Hardware name. Sam’s son, Alfred, ran the main store located on Park Ave in Cranston. His daughter Barbara and her husband, Paul Gillson converted the warehouse at 249 Academy Avenue in Providence into a satellite location. In the early 1980s, Sam’s son retired and sold the Cranston store to an outside interest. The Gillsons continued to own and operate Mt. Pleasant Hardware on Academy Ave in Providence well into the 1990s before retiring and selling the business to their son who had grown up running up and down its aisles.
Mt. Pleasant Hardware (MtPHardware.com) current owner, Marc Gillson, (URI ’79) is a proud third-generation proprietor. Like his dad, he and Mt. Pleasant Hardware are fixtures in the city of Providence. The company and its owners have always invested in the local community. Marc sat on the board of the Smith Hill Community Development Corp. for many years, contributes to the mission of the Joslin Community Center, and supports students at Birch Vocational School.
In addition to the products and services offered by traditional hardware stores like shade and glass-cutting, screen repair, paint mixing, and pipe threading, electrical, plumbing, and cleaning sundries, the company has been a leading UHaul dealer for 25 years. Over the past decade, the company built a significant window repair operation doing business as ALG Window & Glass and boasts the largest selection of window repair parts in the state. MPH is a principal dealer for the leading wholesale distributor of quality window and door replacement hardware in the nation. As a member of the Do It Best buying group, Mt. Pleasant is partnered with the only US-based, member-owned comprehensive and fully integrated hardware, lumber, and building materials buying cooperative in the home improvement industry.
For the past 100 years, Mt. Pleasant Hardware has proudly served a vibrant community of immigrants as well as surrounding colleges and universities, hospitals, small businesses, and other essential institutions. We look forward to many more years operating in this historic, diverse, working-class community.