Beginnings

 

The North Country takes pride in its support and continuous dedication to keeping small businesses thriving. Many large corporations don’t call the North Country home because it’s not a reliable place to build such an elaborate operation. The North Country has faced numerous economic downfalls in recent years, but for those who live here, we battle to outweigh the negatives with positives.

During the years in which the North Country was a prime place to be for many, my grandfather decided to start Hurlbut Tent Rental. It all came about in the later 1960s when my grandfather was working for a cattle dealer in Chazy, New York. This dealer owned a green and white tent that he eventually gave my grandfather when the cattle dealing business closed. Upon hearing that my grandfather now owned this tent, many auctioneers would request the tent to be put up for the various events that they put on. Soon it became obvious that one tent would not suffice the needs of the North Country and he bought more and more tents, some white and others that had varying colored stripes. Eventually the business grew to what is today, too many tents to count, chairs, tables, and other accessories for weddings, parties, and business events.

 

 

 

 

This tent is located on the campus of St. Lawrence University with the backdrop of Gunnison Memorial Chapel. In this example, our tents can be set up in numerous positions to provide for small or large events. Each tent in this photograph served a different purpose for Reunion Weekend in 2016, from food to seating for guests. On beautiful sunny days like this one, our tents offer shade to protect against above average North Country heat.

                          Image by Emily Hurlbut, 2016. Location: St. Lawrence University

Continued Growth

 

My father, Michael Hurlbut, would come to take on the business as a young man, learning the ropes at the age of eight. Sharing the responsibilities with my grandparents, Ray and Eleanor, my parents, Mike and Julie, would co-own the business and continue its success as the years pass on. My father resembles my grandfather in more ways than one, but they share a strong dedication to a business that began small and has become known as one of the prime businesses of the North Country. We’ve built a client base that includes thousands of North Country residents, higher education institutions, large businesses, and caterers.

We have a small employee base, but they have advanced knowledge of the job at hand. We are the largest and most experienced tent rental company in Northern New York and we strive to maintain that success to this day. Many past and current employees have had their first ever jobs under our watchful eyes. This is the true beauty of a North Country business. We’re dedicated to quality, while giving many people their first big shot at a job. In a region that suffers economically, it’s important to give younger generations a chance to learn the value of hard work.

 

 

 

 

This is another example of one of Hurlbut Tent Rental's smaller tents on the campus of St. Lawrence University, a higher education institution in the North Country. Various events take place under our tents, from parties, to business events, and beyond. We appreciate the support from local institutions that allow our business to thrive. 

                    Image by Hurlbut Tent Rental, 2015. Location: St. Lawrence University

North Country Ideals

 

With few tent businesses in the North Country, many residents in the area depend on our business to make their events beautiful and successful. Due to the beauty of the North Country, our tents offer a simple touch to the elaborate backdrops of the Adirondacks and beyond. Many people come to the North Country to get married in a beautiful field or next to a river that sets the scene for a near perfect venue. Our quality, combined with our expertise, is why so many people come back to our business year after year.

We embody the ideals of a true North Country grown business and seek to satisfy all our clients. The North Country isn’t full of businesses that are known at a national or even global level. We’re small, unique, and dedicated businesses that try to make a name for the North Country. While many tent businesses exist beyond the scope of the North Country, they lose that small-town, unique feel where you know your clients by name. When someone calls to rent from our business, they’ll usually have some connection to our own family, or they’ve rented from us before and we remember the location exactly. Over the past nearly 5 decades, my family and our business have demonstrated the highest standards and highest caliber of customer service in return to the thousands of clients that know exactly what it means to be from the North Country.

 

Caption

       Image by Julie Hurlbut, 1990s. Location: New York Power Authority

Helping Hands

 

Images from the past are exceptional ways to recount our history, especially in the ever-changing North Country. It’s not just about what the image holds within, but also its worth as the sole representative of an event from the past. As many people may agree, we love taking photos. These photos may represent a special family event or just a significant moment in one person’s lifetime. It’s very rare that anything these days isn’t captured on film or on video. Humans thrive on history and stories, one’s told by word of mouth and from the ability to recollect a photograph.

The photo above is from my own family collection that contains thousands of photos. As much as many of us moan and groan about having to get our picture taken and ask, “Do we have to?”, I look back and realize how thankful I am that my family members were so dedicated to capturing each moment. Especially for our tent business, we make sure to get as many photos as possible to portray back to our client base how much we truly appreciate a family owned and operated business. This photo came about during the mid-1990s, at one of our numerous tent sites that we had at the time. I’m unsure of the location, but it may be at the New York Power Authority in Massena, New York.

In this photo, my grandfather and founder of Hurlbut Tent Rental, is seen helping my brother Jacob put the finishing touches on one of our tents. Today we have much more traditional white tents that we put up, but this is an example of a tent from our striped collection. As shown, our tents are secured to the ground by a series of poles and ropes that are then attached to stakes that we have hammered into the ground. To finish off many of our tent jobs, we place “boots” onto our stakes to make sure they’re noticeable and people do not trip over them. My brother, despite being very young at the time, could place the boot onto the stake and I’m sure he was very proud of his work when all was said and done. A signature outfit of my grandfathers was the one he was wearing in this photo, khakis that usually had a few paint stains on them, a Hurlbut Tent Rental custom designed t-shirt, a hat to block the hot sun, and tough work boots that have walked a lot of miles. Usually our workers will have to bring extra clothes on the job because between the sweat and dirt from all their hard work, it's impossible not to need another set of clothes.

 

Suggested Website

 

Hurlbut Tent Rental Website - http://hurlbuttentrental.com

 

This is the website for Hurlbut Tent Rental that contains the history of the business, contact information for the office, and numerous photos that detail what we do. As a small business, we do what we can to get the word out and this website is one of the ways in which we do just that. I’ve suggested this website because it’s a direct link to our business that can get anyone in contact with our office if they may have questions. We take pride in everything we offer and it's wonderful to see people support not only my family, but a small, local business.

 

Contributor Biography

Caption

                                  Image by Julie Hurlbut, 2016.

 

My name is Emily Hurlbut and I’m a native of Massena, New York. I grew up as lover of the outdoors where people could frequently find me trying to catch a frog in the nearest puddle or in my yard chasing my dog who is pictured in the above photo. I decided to remain close to home during my college years at St. Lawrence University, which is just a short 30-minute drive from the top of my driveway to the entrance of 23 Romoda Drive. As a member of the Class of 2019, I’m a History and Psychology double major using my liberal arts education to pursue other varying interests during my education. On campus, I’m a justice on the Student Judiciary Board, a member of my Class Council, and a member of the St. Lawrence University Career Services Student Advisory Board. I also work as a Fitness Center Attendant and usher at Men’s Hockey Games. If I’m not in class you can find me enjoying the outdoors on campus or at a St. Lawrence associated event; it’s very rare for me to sit still for any long period of time.