The Dryden Barbershop’s 34-year residency at the Dryden Hotel officially came to an end earlier this month when the shop moved on to a different location.
Thankfully for owner Sylvia Short it was a short move as the business set up shop at 57 West Main Street, next door to the Dryden Monument Company. Short said she decided to move the business after more than three decades at the hotel because she plans on trimming her work week down to three days in July, and did not want to pay the rent she was paying at the hotel spot.
When asked about her fondest memories at the shop’s previous location, Short recalled two particular instances, ironically both involving her not working at the barbershop itself.
The first was back in 1995 when the hotel caught on fire, forcing Short to cut hair for six months in an office in what is now Moore’s Tire Sales. The second came a few years later and was another catastrophe. This time the sprinkler system in the hotel attic malfunctioned, causing severe water damage. Short was forced to move her business elsewhere for the next three months, and she wound up cutting hair in the showroom at the Stafford car dealership.
“I went there, and we got a dresser and a mirror and a chair, and we went up there and cut hair for three months,” Short said.
Oddly enough, she also recalled both events taking place at the same time on the same day of the week – 4 o’clock on the Tuesday before Christmas.
Other than those two, Short said she will always relish watching the local kids whose hair she would cut grow up and have their own children that would eventually have their hair cut by Short. She said she has cut the hair of three or four families through four generations since the shop’s opening in 1987, and several families through three generations.
One of Short’s goals with the new location was to make it look as exactly as it looked at the original location. The new space is wider than the previous spot when one walks in through the entrance, and it begins to taper off from the right side to the left. Aside from the shape of the layout, it still features many of the characteristics of the previous shop – carpet lining the lower portion of the walls, the single barber chair and mirror, as well as the assortment of knick knacks decorating the walls, such as her collection of fishing lures and rocks people have collected on trips and given to her, and the several abandoned hornets nests given to her to hang on the ceilings.
Though it was difficult to move out of the shop’s original location, Short said she is pleased to still be able to cut hair in the community.
“As long as I’m in Dryden and I have my same customers, wherever you are, as long as you got the people, it doesn’t matter where you’re cutting,” she said.
(The barbershop has a new phone number since moving to its new location. For anyone looking to reach the shop, they should call (607) 821-0321.)