TOP PHOTO: Smith ACE Hardware requests that everyone “please pardon their mess” as renovations inside the fabled hardware store begin today.

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The echoes of Momma Cotty Smith and those classic wooden floors will forever be etched in the lore of La Follette’s downtown hardware store; Smith’s. However, beginning this morning around daybreak, a dramatic refurbishment and rearranging project gets underway at Smith ACE Hardware. See more Charlie Hutson photos HERE.

(Left to right) Millard Summers, O.D. Hill, Reba “Momma Cotty” Smith and P. W. “Cotton” Smith – circa 1960

“This is going to go over here, and that’s going to be against the wall over there. The big counter here is also moving. Oh, and all the tools are going to the back,” said Smith co-owner Sherman Campbell. It was sort of a blur to follow his explanation of the big changes coming to the inside of the store that’s been in business for going on 100 years.

This service station will be moved during the remodeling.

The big-smile-Campbell started at the store as a high schooler when Paul “Cooster” and Edith Smith owned and ran the store. Even though he doesn’t have that much age on him, he’s been around Smith’s long enough to have a good knowledge of the store’s history.

This entire wall and its items will be moved across the store at Smith Hardware.

Campbell was told that the remodelers were bringing a big crew so they could cover a lot of ground over a few weeks. The project could well be finished before the year is out.

“It’s really going to be nice. It’ll give us a better flow,” said Campbell. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/30/2020-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE HUTSON)