PORTSMOUTH — As Ebb Glockner tells it, the Glockner family had to make a heartbreaking decision in order to save their family business. He cites one of his most vivid childhood memories as standing on Market Street at the height of the Great Depression, watching in disbelief as the bank repossessed B Glockner Hardware.
Bankruptcy was a last-ditch effort to save the remaining assets of the Glockner Chevrolet Company, which would ultimately allow the family to remain in business. However, losing the B Glockner Hardware building was like losing the first chapter of his family’s great American love story.
This was the place where Bernhard Glockner, a humble German immigrant, began to build something that would anchor the next six generations of the Glockner Family, and in the process, bring decades of economic prosperity to the local families they served.
In over a century’s time, Glockner Enterprises has survived 2 major floods, 2 World Wars, the 1973 Oil Embargo, extreme interest rates in the 1980s, the Great Recession in 2009, and now, a world pandemic. Not to mention, the sudden and tragic death of Berhnard Glockner four years into the business, and even the loss of Ebbs brother in a tragic plane crash during World War II.
Through it all, the family’s legacy of “succeeding by serving” kept them highly regarded among the community, and they continued to succeed in expanding the business despite the historic ups and downs that marked much of this family’s life. It wasn’t until 2018 however that Ebb’s grandsons Mike, Tim, and Joe Glockner caught wind of an opportunity to buy back their family’s original place of business after an electrical fire left the building badly damaged.
The property owner was distraught over such a big financial loss, and The Glockner’s stepped in with an offer to purchase this scorched piece of history. Upon a handshake, they began a full restoration of their family’s original place of business, known as B. Glockner Hardware.
This multigenerational redemption story finally came full circle, and that’s what inspired the Glockner’s to throw an outdoor fall festival in the middle of market square. Glocktoberfest was born. Here you can stand where Ebb Glockner stood as he watched his family lose nearly everything & began dreaming about the brand-new chapters of victory that he’d write in his small town success story.
Glocktoberfest isn’t just a celebration of the Glockner family. It’s a celebration of a community that is brimming with gritty small-town people who have overcome insurmountable odds to write their own stories of victory, success and hope for future generations.
The fall festival is free to the public and features the best live country music, the best local barbecue and craft beer vendors, a Vintage Car & Bike Cruise-In, Stein Holding Contest, the B Glockner Building, and tons of entertainment for the kids. Festivities kick off at 1 p.m. and end at 5 p.m.
When it comes to celebrating small town American success stories, we even created our own craft beer! The Bernie G Dortmunder Lager, “The Beer of Local Legends.” Brewed locally in partnership with The Portsmouth Brewing Company, the bottle reads:
“Much like Bernhard Glockner himself, this legacy brew is quickly becoming a local legend.
You can expect a classic and balanced taste making it easy for anyone to enjoy this Dortmunder Lager.
Here’s to Bernie, the historical hardworking people of Portsmouth, Ohio and everyone who believes in the American Dream!”
Ebb Glockner may not have been here to see his family restore the B. Glockner Hardware building back to its former glory, but as a prolific letter writer throughout his life, you can be sure that Ebb’s influence on those around him inspired his successors to write their own success stories.