Vycital’s Hardware Store


vycital_hdwe_store1In the early 1900’s a man of Czech descent named John Vycital left his homeland country to seek a better way of life in the United States. He eventually moved to McHenry, a small town in Northern Illinois. Within a few years, he had opened a “one-man” stove company which eventually transformed into a general hardware store, named by its chief proprietor, Vycital’s Hardware.

John and his wife Francis Vycital had 9 children; 5 boys and 4 girls, all of whom would at some time or another, work in the store.

During the initial years, the store was the main supply channel for farmers and merchants around McHenry County. John and Francis Vycital prided themselves on providing quality service, a willingness to help, and a range of products from trapper’s equipment, firearms and fireworks to fine china, toys and assorted household necessities.


The hardware store was known for its friendly atmosphere, a willingness to help the customer and to provide products of the highest quality. The store became an important asset to the community. During the depression, many of the patrons helped John “Keep the Lights On” by trading for products or helping make timely payments for goods and services. They all knew that they needed the store as much as the store needed them… it was a time of survival.

As progress and expansion moved in, small hardware stores fell by the way side to the major chains and superstores. As young men my brother and I as well as most of my cousins worked in my grandfather’s store. It was a “right of passage” growing up in a large family. While we have seen the way of the small “Mom and Pop” stores come and go, the principles of building a quality business have never changed.

John and Francis Vycital and the 9 children are all gone, as is the store. While the structure still resides in McHenry, Illinois, the name has changed. What remains are the memories of times past when you could buy just about anything you wanted at the hardware store.

While I cannot re-create times past, I can once again place in service a heritage that will continue to live on. The structure of the new Vycital’s Hardware will be very different from what my grandfather ever envisioned, but the service, quality of products, attention to detail and willingness to provide unsurpassed customer satisfaction will emulate what my grandfather set in motion many years ago.

As you move through the store you will find, as shoppers found years ago, many different products contained in one location. New hardware will continue to be listed as the store grows and if you do not find what you are looking for, let us know or if you just stopped by to chat, you can drop us a note and we will respond. We appreciate your comments and suggestions….   Welcome to the store. The lights are back on, the door is open, the welcome mat is out and the Vycital family is here to serve you and provide personal attention to your needs.