“Houts” and About

It’s official: “Mom and pop” stores in State College are now extinct. O.W. Houts is closing its doors after 88 years in business.

I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to Houts. This is probably due to the fact that State College opened its first Wal-Mart when I was only in first grade, and Houts was basically Wal-Mart w/furniture afterwards.   Not to mention, prices were much cheaper at Wal-Mart.

However, I’m sure that about as recently as 20-25 years ago Houts used to be THE PLACE for State College residents to get their hardware, office materials, groceries, and other supplies. Back then, there were no Wal-Marts or Lowes or Office Depots for people to go to, just the local businesses…At least, that’s how I seem to recall things back in the late 80’s. Perhaps any of you older alums/State College residents who might be reading this could fill me in?

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4 Responses to “Houts” and About

  1. WFY says:

    I’m shocked it lasted so long. I went there several times while a student and a couple of times as an alumnus. It’s too bad.

  2. PSUgirl says:

    You could find anything and everything at Houts – or Hootie Houts as my dad called it. I thought it was kinda creepy – but I my parents loved it there.

    They always had the best christmas trees in state college – and my parents always went there to shop for holiday foods – Standing rib roast and shrimp.

    It’s a real shame that it’s closed.

  3. NS says:

    the best part was that their tools and parts section was fully stocked and the employees there were knowledgeable and helpful. Unfortunately now I go to Walmart or Lowes and it is so hard to find the required parts. I might as well directly order things online than go to stooooooopid Walmart.

  4. Pat Dennis says:

    The biggest, and most spectacular, happening of the year in State College, ca. 1959 or 1960, was when O.W. Houts burned to the ground. The sky lit up for miles, and I can still hear the paint cans exploding! They rebuilt with a beautiful new store, the Home Depot of its day.

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