When Mead Lumber Co. closed its doors last June after 102 years, Ashland residents had to go a long way to find a hardware store.

Now, they can save their gas money thanks to Dean and Mila Curtis, who opened C & L Hardware in the same location as Mead Lumber near downtown.

The new hardware store had a soft opening in mid-February. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

When the weather warms up, the store plans to have its garden center open on Sunday afternoons, store Manager Larry Lemon said.

The store is affiliated with Do it Best Corp., a worldwide supplier of hardware items.

"We're going to have more hardware than lumber but we're going to offer lumber, too," Lemon said.

The couple named their store after their grandchildren, Calvin and Liam Curtis. Six-year-old Calvin died just days before the store opened, after struggling with an unknown medical condition, Lemon said.

Reach Algis J. Laukaitis at 402-473-7243 or alaukaitis@journalstar.com.