Following serving Hardin and the bordering counties for nearly a century, E’town Laundry Co. is closing its doors.
The business enterprise has been in downtown Elizabethtown considering that James Hartlage established it in 1928. The company initially provided relatives laundry solutions and, over the several years, expanded to involve dry cleansing expert services, linen supply services, uniform rentals and additional.
Present CEO Steve Hartlage, grandson of James Hartlage, has worked for the firm for 49 decades, and he’s a person of numerous in a extended line of loved ones staff members.
“My grandfather had 7 kids, and they all worked below at a single time or an additional, even some of their spouses labored below,” he reported.
James also had 42 grandchildren, and Steve believed at least fifty percent of them experienced worked at the laundry at a person time or another. But, Steve’s been seeking to retire for several yrs, and no person else in the relatives wanted to carry on the household legacy. He and his brother Denis explained a labor shortage in excess of the previous number of years also was a catalyst for their choice to close.
“It just received to the position wherever we just could not do it all,” Denis said.
Martha Clark, 97, is the daughter of James. She explained she labored at the laundry “from the time she was outdated enough till the time she was much too aged.”
“The older you acquired, the much more you did,” she mentioned.
She and her brother Paul, 90, reported they begun sending sheets as a result of the flat irons when they were around 11 years previous.
When Martha was in higher college, she graduated to doing the job in the place of work, which she stated was a large jump. Finally, she labored her way up to leadership and grew to become the “big dog” of the workplace. Martha also did deliveries for the company.
Paul stated he does not remember his sister bossing him all over, so he need to have stayed out in the plant.
“You have been back again there shaking the sheets,” Martha reminded him.
“I was out there shaking farts out of sheets,” Paul reported.
Paul claimed he shook those people sheets up as a result of large faculty, and then joined the U.S. Air Force for 4 several years right before discovering his way back again to the laundry to do the job a variety of unique work for lots of several years.
Paul and Martha mentioned they did a minimal little bit of every little thing about the yrs. They experienced fond recollections of eating sandwiches and ingesting soda on times when they labored.
“Back when I was tiny, my fondest memory was eating supper,” he said. “Somebody would go up to Clark’s Grocery Retail store and buy lunch meat and bring it down to the laundry. All our spouse and children, whoever was doing work there, we would sit in the office environment and take in our sandwiches. I guess I savored it for the reason that I was not functioning, but I constantly assumed people sandwiches tasted so great.”
French Brothers and Boones Cleaners will be using above the residential laundry part of the business enterprise. Martha said the Frenches ended up usually good friends, a sentiment Ray French, who owns the rival cleaning company, echoed.
French mentioned E’town Laundry was a pillar of the community.
“The experience is mutual,” he said when advised he experienced Martha’s help. “I have great regard for the Hartlage spouse and children.”
The previous day for E’town Laundry shoppers to choose up orders was Friday as operations formerly transitioned to French Brothers and Boones Cleaners or closed permanently.