Harrison Realty, Inc. has a history of being family owned and operated. The business has evolved from a small business operating out of a log cabin in 1953 to a booming realty business with two offices nearly 60 years later. Harrison Realty, Inc. has offices located at 795 N. First Street in Harrison and at 229 W. Lake George Avenue in Lake George.
The business was founded by Thomas W. Hecker in 1953 when Hecker bought a small real estate office from Ben Carpenter. The office was located between what is now Hardy Insurance and Gaetano's Italian Pizza on Old 27. Then in 1959, in response to the booming business, Hecker built a new office at the current location, 795 N First St. Soon after the new office was built, the Hecker family suffered the unexpected loss of Thomas W. Hecker at the age of 52. Stunned, yet resilient, wife Bernadine and son Thomas D. Hecker sought their real estate licenses to carry on the family business. True friend, Bob Burns Sr. helped the family out until the Hecker's got their broker licenses.
Bernadine (Hughes) Hecker was daughter of Elmer Hughes who with his twin brother Ellis Hughes and Fred Weatherhead were some of the first developers in Harrison as noted by the Hughes -Weatherhead Subdivisons in the City. Carrying on the family tradition of developing the land in and around Harrison, were Bernadine, her new husband, Leo Bischoff and Tom Hecker. You may recognize some of these areas that were created by the owners of Harrison Realty: Hiram Hills at Arnold Lake, Paradise Bend 1 & 2, Land O' Lakes, Little Long Lake 1-7, Whispering Pines and Birch Hills Sportsman's Club 1,2, & 3.
In 1963, Bernadine remarried and her new husband, Leo Bischoff, became active in the family business. Bischoff then went on to be instrumental in the development of Birch Hills Sportsman's Club and continues to be an inspirational member of the family. The company name was changed From Hecker Real Estate to Harrison Realty in 1970 and incorporated in 1986. It is still family owned and operated. As the demand necessitated, new agents were needed to serve the customer base. In 1981, Bernadine's daughter, Janet Dunkle, got her license becoming a full time associate broker. In 1994, son Tom's wife Barbara began her selling efforts, though she had been licensed since the early 1980s. Barb became a full time associate broker in 1997. The family business then welcomed the third generation of agents when Tom and Barb's offspring became licensed. Mark McCrary and his wife Andrea and Kari Garber, and her
husband Carey were all committed to the business full time by 2003. Both Mark and Kari earned their associate brokers licenses in 2007 in true family tradition. This allows Tom and Barb as well as Janet and her husband Darell the flexibility to enjoy their winters in Florida. Tom has fully embraced retirement, while Barb and Janet work from Florida and return to floor time in Michigan.
Over the many years in business, Harrison Realty, Inc. has also been grateful to have other agents as Independent Agents, best described as "extended family". Agents that have included Richard Heintz, Noble Swan, Sue Seebeck, Carol Wynne, Scott Williams, Lyle Kerns, Rob Dimmer, and many others that have made a lasting impression and impact on the business, and on the family. The family couldn't have done it alone, and holds high regards for those that have served Harrison in the past and those on the team presently.