Having entered the store over the years, many local residents have heard the aging sounds of the old wooden doors and the doorbell ring. For the last 89 years, generations of Mariposa residents and tourists have passed through the historic doorway at Coast Hardware.
Those same wooden doors had welcomed customers of the Dulcich family since 1933, when Jim and Marjorie Dulcich, the parents of current owner Jim Dulcich, purchased the building. The bought the building from Belle M. Roberts, who owned and operated the Walker gas station and pool hall, which opened in 1921.
The Dulcich family remodeled the building into the Butterfly Market/Café and Telephone Exchange. Over time, the Dulcich family added a beer garden and Mariposa’s first outdoor movie theater. Butterfly Market was in operation for 51 years. In 1984, the Dulcich family converted the space into the Coast to Coast Hardware store, later changing the name to Coast Do-It-Best Hardware.
Current owners Jim and daughter, Heidi Dulcich, had been planning to update the store’s front doors for the last five years; however, other business demands always seemed to take precedence. The old doors were narrow and opened inward and some customers had trouble opening them. The narrow door opening also made moving hardware stock in and out of the building very cumbersome.
The Dulcich family replaced the old original doors in the fall of 2021; however, a matching second set of original doors stands to the right of the main entrance and are currently blocked off and no longer used.
Heidi explained, “The new standards for business doors require them to open out and be wider for handicapped access. The new wider door also makes it easier to move large inventory items like generators, lawnmowers, and swamp coolers onto the store’s front sidewalk. The new doors are stronger and have a better internal locking system which proved its worth during the recent break-in when the doors stood strong against burglars who broke the nearby window instead.”
The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office apprehended the thieves with footage from store security cameras earlier this year.
The old doors that are no longer used are being kept intact for posterity by the Dulcich family as a part of their family’s business history.
(Video showing the history of the building – photos provided by Tom Phillips and Joanna Ransom; video slideshow created by Joanna Ransom.)