In 1902, at 18 years “young” John P. Coakley put together a construction crew specializing in home and barn building serving all of St. Lawrence County. John P. established a reputation for delivering superior customer experiences through quality workmanship, meeting aggressive production schedules (the crew would often live on site in pitched tents) and above all being a man of the highest integrity. People liked and trusted the young entrepreneur which opened the door to more business opportunities.
Over the years, the family business, built upon the strong base established by John P., grew both vertically and horizontally. Evolutionary twists and turns bridging John P.’s start up construction company to today’s businesses included logging, sawmills, window and sash manufacturing, a feed store, a paint store, a lumber business and a housing construction business, resulting in many of the fine homes in the Canton community.
Generational transitions took place between John P. and his sons Robert and John on their return from service in World War II. The business focus consolidated then on lumber and home construction. In 1976, Robert and his son Bill orchestrated the major transition from that business located “on the Island” in downtown Canton, to a hardware and home center at our present location on Outer West Main Street in Canton. Our Saranac Lake store opened in 2005 on Lake Flower Avenue and has been voted “The Best of the Mountains” hardware store each year since opening.
All of Robert’s children, (the third generation) Bill, Carol (Spadaccini) and Tom, along with their spouses, Carol, Ron (Spadaccini) and Nellie, are active in the store operation. Most of the fourth generation of Coakleys, while active in their career endeavors, have put in their share of hours in behind the cash register, cooking hotdogs or stocking shelves. The members of the fifth generation are currently very involved in consuming the free popcorn, entertaining customers and playing hide-and-seek. We are sure John P. would be proud of his family business legacy!