Hunter Brothers Store Owner Sells Century-Old Pieces
Frank Furko, owner of the Hunter Brothers general store, has some original items from the store available for purchase.
At the corner of Hulton Road and Allegheny River Boulevard in Oakmont, the former Hunter Brothers general store has sat with closed doors for about 10 years, but it is far from a vacant building. Inside sit century-old pieces from the store’s heyday that owner Frank Furko wants someone to purchase and put to good use.
“I’d like this stuff to go with someone who can use it,” Furko, 80, said. “It’s great stuff. I’d keep it if I had the room.”
The store was opened in the late 1800s by two brothers—the Hunter brothers—and was purchased from Thomas Hunter in 1947 by Furko’s father, James.
“My dad worked here since he was 23 years old and stuck around until he was 94,” Furko said. “He never did anything but work here. It gave him something to do.”
The Furkos were also farmers, and Furko still owns the land—and cuts the grass—of his family’s farm along Hulton Road across from the Oakmont Country Club.
Furko and his younger brother, Don, worked with their father on the farm and in the store. Furko started delivering groceries to Oakmont residents when he was 17. He closed the store in 2002 a year after his father died because he was losing money to the super stores, like Walmart, he said.
“You just can’t have a little store like this these days,” he said. When it opened, Hunter Brothers general store was the first of its kind in Oakmont."
Furko has fond memories of the store, which is now cleared out of the dry goods, produce, dairy and other products that lined the 122-year-old still-existing floor-to-ceiling shelves and wooden counters.
According to Furko, the most impressive piece waiting for an owner is a large ice box.
“This is a heck of a piece. Just great,” he said. “If someone had the room for this, it would be a great thing to have in the house. I mean, where would you find something like this?”
The white-and-green-colored ice box towers over Furko and has eight doors. Behind seven of them were produce, which mostly came from the Furko’s farm, and dairy chilled. The eight largest door, with its mirrored front still intact, held 400 pounds of ice. It has since been converted to electric.
Two original honey-colored wooden counters with drawers are also available. One has 21 drawers, and the other has three deep drawers and eight smaller drawers. These held dry goods the clerks would access for their customers and cases of loose cookies bought by the pound.
Furko is interested in selling these and the other remaining items, including additional freezers, the store’s Hunter Bros. Fancy Groceries sign, and “anything else people would be interested in,” he said.
“I’d like to make some money off this stuff, but I also want people to be able to use it,” he said. “If someone buys this place, I don’t know what will happen to these old pieces."
Furko donated one of the stores ledgers, which held customer names and purchases, and two glass display cases, which held cigarettes, to the Oakmont Carnegie Library.
“I’ve taken and donated the things I really wanted to keep track of,” he said. “Everything else is up for grabs. Just give me an offer.”
At this time, Furko does not have a price on the items. He said he’s looking for people to contact him with their best offer.
The store currently has no interested buyers, according to Furko. He said over 50 people have come to look at the property over the last six years it’s been for sale.
“I could tear it down, but I don’t want to,” he said. “Whoever buys this has a lot to work with or they can tear it down themselves if they want to start from scratch.”
You can contact Furko about these items at 412-327-1032. The property is being sold through Howard Hanna, 412-471-3311, for $76,000.