Williamsport Barber Shop Downtown - Giving you traditional barbershop experience
Williamsport Barber Shop Downtown -
Giving you traditional barbershop experience
By Jennifer LB Leese
A barber is someone, most often male, whose occupation is to cut hair and to shave or trim the beards of men. Typically a barber works in a "barbershop" or simply the "barber's".
The barber's trade has a long history. Historically, they were also dentists and surgeons. These versatile performers extracted teeth, gave enemas, bloodletting and carried out wound surgeries.
These barber-surgeons formed their first official organization in France in the year 1096, after the archbishop of Rouen prohibited the wearing of a beard.
Today, barbers are still around cutting mainly men and boys' hair and trimming or shaving beards.
Williamsport Barber Shop Downtown is one of these shops.
After several years of barbering for others, Carol Harvey decided to open her own shop in Williamsport. Today, the shop belongs to her daughter, Tammy Whitney. Ms. Whitney purchased the barbershop the first of this year. Tammy comes from a long line of barbers - uncles, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers. Their pictures hang in the window at the shop.
Ms. Whitney decided to purchase Williamsport Barbershop because "Williamsport needs a barbershop," she said. "I knew the people in the town, and I like the small town atmosphere," she said. "People come from West Virginia, parts of Hagerstown."
Tammy worked as a legal assistance then a paralegal in Frederick before barbering. With cosmetology background, started in high school, her mom suggested that she get her barber license. Ms. Whitney did just that. She attended barber school in Baltimore and she really liked it. She had found her passion.
Ms. Whitney enjoys getting to know her customers. "Typically you have someone in your chair for 15 to 20 minutes and within that time you get to know a little about them. You really start to care. You'd be surprised with the amount of customers [I have] how many I remember and what I remember about them.
Tammy informed me that a barbershop has been at this address for fourteen years. She is the third owner.
The building was originally a bank (1827) - The Williamsport Bank. In 1865 it then became the Washington County Bank.
When she took over the business she changed the telephone number, added another barber, added "downtown" to the name, and made the hours more consistent. "Changes are coming," she said. Ms. Whitney plans to start remodeling the shop, hopefully in July of this year. "I want to take it back to the old-timey feel and look," she said.
People of all ages - even women - come into the shop, but it is primarily a barbershop geared toward men and boys "where they can come in and relax and not have to smell nail polish, perms and that kind of stuff". Tammy wanted our readers to know that she offers dry cleaning services. "We use Zhest cleaners, which is an eco-friendly dry cleaner (save the planet and go green)," she said.
There are always three barbers in the shop - Tammy Whitney, Danielle Kelley, and Dora Wolfe. "Guys don't like to wait," Tammy said. "They like to get in and out."
Williamsport Barber Shop Downtown is the place to go if you want a traditional barber experience. Although Maryland law prohibits the shop from using the hone and strop straight razor method (straight razor with leather strap), Tammy, Danielle, and Dora can still give you that experience by mimicking with a disposable straight razor. "It's sanitary," Tammy said.
Williamsport Barber Shop Downtown is located at 28 N. Conococheague St. in Williamsport. Their operating hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 9-6 and Saturday 8-12. Visit www.williamsportbarbershopdowntown.com to learn more about the barbershop, or call them at 301-223-8220 to make an appointment today!