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    Baird Hardware Christmas Baird Hardware

Baird Hardware, founded by Eberle Baird, was one of the most important businesses in Gainesville for more than 90 years. Formed in 1890 and liquidated in 1981, it was the largest hardware house in Florida around 1900. The building behind the men was located on the corner of University Avenue and Southeast 1st Street (formerly East Main Street) until 1975 when it was torn down and replaced by a new Courthouse and plaza. Baird's started in the building next door but expanded to this building in 1924; they eventually occupied 75 percent of the entire block. According to Mr. James Lang, Gainesville attorney, the gentleman on the right is his father, Mr. Joseph M. Lang. The other person's identity is unknown. Apparently it was around Christmas; note the lights strung across the street, the little Christmas tree in the doorway, and the sign in Baird's window that probably says MERRY XMAS. (click image to view larger size)