The Union District of Endicott has lost a business that was a fixture on West Main Street for decades.

The owners of Endicott Tractor have retired, closing the doors on the shop they acquired in 1989.

Emil and Sharon Schneider took what had been the Union Variety and Hardware Store and eventually converted it into Endicott Tractor, a business that specialized in power equipment.

Sharon Schneider said a hardware store was no longer viable because of competition from big box retailers. She said: "We made it a family store."

Emil Schneider checking the remaining inventory before the auction. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

After three decades, the Schneiders decided it was time to spend some time relaxing. A week after the store officially closed, the phone keeps ringing. Customers call seeking help and express sadness when they learn the store has gone out of business.

Emil and Sharon Schneider met at at high school dance in Pine Bush. They've been married for 56 years. After shutting down the shop, they're ready to go on a few adventures in their camper.

The remaining power equipment, parts and fixtures in the store will go up for auction on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Although they'll be doing some traveling, the Schneriders plan to remain in Broome County. Although they grew up elsewhere in New York state, they say they still love the Binghamton area.

Emil and Sharon Schneider when they opened their store in July 1989. (Photo provided by the Schneiders)
Emil and Sharon Schneider in their closed store on June 28, 2019. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

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