SINCLAIRVILLE - On Jan. 5, Bill's Gun & Saddle Shop will celebrate 50 years in business.
During the last five decades, Bill Frost has had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know a lot of people operating the business. Frost, along with his wife, Lucile, said they now have fourth-generation customers.
''I like the people,'' Frost said is the best part of operating the business for 50 years. ''You get talking to the customers and they get to be like your family. Then you get to know their kids and the next thing you know you've had four generations having walked through the door.''
Lucile and Bill Frost, Bill’s Gun & Saddle Shop owners, will be celebrating the business’s 50th anniversary on Jan. 5. Along with operating the business, Frost has a Western history museum, performs trick-rope shows, leads a Wild West exhibition, does quick-draw performances and was a professional stunt horseback rider.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
Frost said he gets customers who come from as far as Rochester and Niagara Falls to visit the store.
''It is amazing how far people will travel to see you if they know they will be treated right,'' he said.
The store owner said he caters to all interest, from collectors to hunters to sport shooters to those looking for protection.
''We help to choose the right weapon for people's interest,'' Mrs. Frost said. ''We take the time to make sure it is the right gun for each individual.''
Bill's Gun & Saddle Shop, located 39 Prospect St., Sinclairville, has in stock the most popular pistols, rifles and shotguns, and all necessary accessories. He said before anyone is allowed to look at a pistol they must show a valid state handgun permit.
''As far as we know, no gun ever purchased from the store has been used in a crime. We know that because we've never experienced a crime gun traced back from authorities,'' he said. ''We're proud of that record.''
Frost said his start in the business comes from learning from his dad, George, and grandfather, William. He said both men traded and sold several products as a way of life.
''Dad was into buying this and buying that,'' he said. ''He got that from my grandfather, too.''
Frost said he started collecting so many items he decided to start a business. At first, saddles were the main good sold in the business, but over time guns have become the biggest seller. He said he still sells new and used saddles. He also does saddle and leather repair.
To go along with the saddle business, Frost also has a western museum where he has rows of collector saddles on display. The saddles range from ones used by soldiers during World War I to old west gear used by cowboys dating back to the 1880s.
During his life, Frost has been involved in many activities besides operating a business. He worked 53 years for the county Sheriff Department's mounted division, performs trick-rope shows, leads a wild west exhibition, does quick-draw performances and was a professional stunt horseback rider.
The business is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 962-5168.