Oswego, NY – The Raby family has been active members and supporters of the Oswego community for four generations. Peter and Rob Raby, the fourth generation cousins, who currently run Raby’s Ace Home Center, recently added to their support of the community by making a generous donation to the Salvation Army.
“We are very grateful for the donation made by the Raby family,” said Oswego Salvation Army Major Corinne Hayes. “Their family has been dedicated to the Oswego community for four generations and their continued generosity in this immense time of need is truly appreciated.”
Raby Family History
Felix and Peter Raby moved from Quebec to Oswego in the late 1800s and opened Hickey & Raby Window and Door Shop. In the 1920s Peter Raby took sole ownership of the business and changed the name to Peter Raby Lumber Company. In the early 1940’s Peter, John and Robert, grandsons of Peter Raby, left to serve in the military during World War II. Like many women of that time, their sister Mary Raby (Mary Donovan), took over the business. By necessity, the business was downsized to product repair only and just enough to pay the bills.
In the mid to late 1940’s, Raby’s Construction was started along with the Lumber Company. The business was located on Washington Blvd and modernized to state-of-the-art in the early 1950’s. In 1971, the business moved to its current location and the name was changed to Raby’s Pro Hardware. The store was renamed again to Raby’s Ace Home Center in the late 1970’s.
The current owners, Peter Raby (son of Peter Sr.) joined in the family business in 1960, and Rob Raby (son of John) followed in 1968. The two cousins are the current partners in the ownership of Raby’s Ace Home Center.
“We invest in our community as they invest in us. It’s a two-way street. We help others where we can,” said Peter Raby. “It is a small town and this community is important to all of us. We must help people and organizations when possible.”
The Raby family’s belief always was “if there is someone or an organization in need, and we know about it and we have the capability to help, we try to make it happen.” It was Peter’s great-grandfather who organized the
gathering and transporting of the large stones which you see on the St Mary’s Catholic Church building. All those stones were transported by wagons from the farms in Scriba. Raby’s Construction Company (1950-1975) built many buildings on the SUNY Oswego campus and also built the original Oswego Salvation Army Building in 1954.
“When I think back to when my dad, John, my Uncle Peter (Peter’s dad), and our Uncle Robert, all brothers, went off to World War II together, it was amazing to think that all they did was lock the door of the store and leave a sign “Peter Raby Company, Inc…. Have gone to war… We hope to come back from the war and again serve our many customers.”
Their wives kept the books current and serviced some of the customers when they could,” stated Rob Raby. “When they returned they opened right up as if they had never closed and all their customers returned.”
John, Robert, and Peter Raby grew the business by providing customers with value and a spirit of community. They were also involved in the local Chamber of Commerce. Individually, John Raby served on the Hamilton Homes Board, Robert Raby served on Oswego County Savings Bank Board, and was a Rotarian and Peter Raby was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Elks Club and Knights of Columbus.
Currently Rob and Peter are involved with the Oswego/Fulton Chamber, and Rob has served on the Port of Oswego Authority Board, Trinity Catholic School Board, and is currently active in the Oswego Minor Hockey Association.
“We very much believe in the ‘golden rule’, treat others as you want to be treated,” said Peter.
The Oswego Salvation Army is part of the International Salvation Army organization, which is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church. The local citadel provides food, education, services and spiritual support to the local community.
Anyone interested in information about programs or serving as a volunteer at the Oswego Salvation Army can call (315) 343-6491 or stop by the office at 73 W. Second St., Oswego. The Army‘s “I Believe” campaign continues to raise funds for renovations for the Army’s new facility. Progress updates on that project are available at http://oswegosa.com.