Basche-Sage Hardware Co. was one of Baker City’s largest firms for more than 100 years. The company began when Peter Basche purchased a Baker City tin shop in 1876. In 1888, Basche merged with the Sage and Grace hardware store. Stores were opened in Sumpter, La Grande and Ontario. The company constructed this building in 1926 to house its executive offices and a retail store.
At its peak, Basche-Sage stocked an inventory of 45,000 different items and employed 155 people. In 1980, however, the owners, citing “sustained losses,” announced the company’s closure. It was the last independent hardware wholesaler in Oregon. The Baker City headquarters building was sold, and the new owner converted it to a retail mall.
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