My appreciation of old things and buildings started at about age 9. During summer vacation I would help my dad make deliveries to rural and small town grocery stores. I was fascinated by the tall ceilings covered with pressed tin panels, supporting a slow moving fan that kept the long bare bulb pendant lights gently swaying. I loved looking at the oak cabinets with curved glass tops, counters with bins for dry goods and the pot belly stove in the back encircled with cane bottom chairs. The faded red cooler with the white cursive lettering of Coca-Cola on the side never failed to catch my eye. One time we stopped at a second hand store and I was given 50 cents to buy whatever I wanted. To this day, I am not sure why my 9 year old self chose an ivory 6” early California pottery vase, which I still have.
When my husband and I were looking for furniture for our first home, we discovered we liked the “old things” his grandfather gave us, much more than the new furniture being sold at that time. We found out a lot of other people felt the same and that was the inspiration to open an antique furniture store. We faced an interesting challenge when we purchased our second home, a 1929 brick tudor with a 1975 bathroom. At the time, we had no idea what a 1929 bath room looked like and found very few resources to help. It became my mission to procure and restore all the bath fixtures we would require. Becoming a quick study in residential architecture and eras revealed what fixtures needed to be included in my search. I made frequent trips to the only salvage store in the area. I befriended a veteran plumber who taught me how to rebuild faucets, waterclosets, etc. As with any restoration project, you end up with leftovers, things you lovingly restored and thought would be perfect, until a more perfect one came along. I started bringing those items to my store, where they sold rather quickly, which of course, generated a new specialty for my inventory. Light fixtures became a natural addition a short time later.
I am pleased that things have evolved to where you can find books, magazines and websites that are devoted to anything and everything to do with old houses, but when asked, I still enjoy helping people with their restoration projects and sharing my 40 years of knowledge.
Owner, Marjie Johnson, is happy to answer any of your questions.