A small handwritten sign on the door of Butt's Hardware reads, "I am closed for doctor appointments"—an ominous note, causing some to believe the shop may never reopen.
Part hardware store and part curiosity shop, Butt's Hardware is a longtime fixture at 8832 Belair Road in Perry Hall. Behind locked doors, it remains stuffed full if its signature knickknacks. The phone number listed on the store's sign is no longer in service.
"It's a quirky little piece of Perry Hall history. I'd be sad to see it go," said County Councilman David Marks.
Marks, a Perry Hall historian, said it was known as a great place to buy inner tubes. He added that there have been no recent development requests or zoning changes related to the property.
The original structure was built in 1931, according to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. The structure is listed as nearly 3,800 square feet. The total land property, including nearly 72,000 square feet, is currently valued at less than $900,000. One of the listed property owners, a Kingsville resident, was not available to comment when contacted by Patch.
Workers at an adjacent business said several people have asked about Butt's Hardware's closure, but they had no information on it.
In 1986, Patuxent Publishing photographer Doug Kapustin captured a photo of then-owner John J. Butt resting in a chair outdoors with a customer. The photo is now part of the Baltimore County Public Library archives.
Marie Butt (wife of William "Buddy" Butt, the unofficial mayor of Perry Hall) said the past owner of the hardware store was a distant relative of her husband. The family had no further information on the store.
Do you have any memories of Butt's Hardware? Do you know if it will ever reopen? Tell us in the comments.