Purses, teapots and other treasures
The downtown Highway 395 corridor in Gardnerville is now referred to by some as “antique row.” Antiquing in Carson Valley has increased in recent years, with the majority of the influx in the historic downtown Gardnerville area.
In November 2005, Dublin House Antiques became the seventh antique store in Gardnerville.
“We would like to give people a place to come, something rather than the Wal-Mart experience,” said Dan Browne, who co-owns Dublin House Antiques with Jenifer Haase, just after the opening of their store. “There are a lot of nice restaurants and nice places to visit in Gardnerville.”
Dublin House Antiques is located in a house built in 1911. Many of Carson Valley’s antique stores are inside historic buildings, such as Laura Spring Ranch & Country Antiques, which is on a historic Carson Valley ranch.
Roxanne Stangle has been in Carson Valley most of her life. She graduated from Douglas County High School and owns Tumblewind Antiques & Collectibles on Esmeralda Avenue in Minden. Stangle carries some antiques but she focuses more on collectibles.
“I have lived in the Valley for 36 years and owned this business for 20 years,” Stangle said. “We were the first antique business here, but now this area is considered an antique destination because there are a lot more stores.”
Stangle reflected on the future of Valley antique stores.
“I don’t know where the business of antiques is going. True antiques are getting harder and harder to find. It seemed like eBay hurt us for a while, but people seem to be coming back,” said Stangle.
“The demographics of the Valley are changing. Years ago it seemed customer service was an important thing, shopping where business owners knew you and called you by your name. Nowadays people are not used to that.”
Jo Ann and Bud Orange, owners of The House of Orange, decided to close their store in April after three years of being located on Highway 395 in Gardnerville. Their store originally opened in 1999 in Minden. In their experience, owning an antique store has not been cost-effective enough to make it worthwhile, so they decided to continue the business through online and appointment-only sales and at antique shows.
“We’ll be having warehouse sales on an appointment-only basis,” said Bud. “It will be better for us.”
Martha Williams, owner of Antiques Plus in Genoa, had a different perception of the business.
“I will be one month shy of 20 years in this business in May,” Williams said. “I am the second oldest antique store operating in the same location in the State of Nevada. I carry everything from wagons to china, silver, jewelry, everything from country furniture to Victorian.”
Customers shopping on eBay wasn’t of much concern to Williams, especially concerning the larger items.
“Can you imagine shipping an ore cart? Those are sought-after items, you know. Can you imagine how much one of those things weighs?”
In January 2005 a new antique store opened inside the historic mercantile store built in 1896, originally owned by Arendt Jensen at 1423 Highway 395 in Gardnerville. The two-story brick building measures more than 12,000 square feet, and the entire bottom floor is filled with antiques. Appraiser Dee Perino, offers classes in antique buying and selling on Saturday mornings.
The next step for owners Richard and Karen Campbell is to find more antique dealers to fill up the second floor. Karen said she is also considering putting in a tea room, serving pastries and different types of teas on antique table settings.
The store received the Best of Carson Valley award for Best Antique Store 2005.
Karen said the antique business is really not competitive, since each shot carries different items.
“I will call to see if other stores have something if we don’t have it,” said Karen. “It’s not like a hardware store. We all have different items. That’s the beauty of it.”
Of the opening of new antique shops in the area, Karen said, “We get a lot of people coming from Reno for the day, from Tahoe or people who are driving by on the highway.
“It’s a nice little area, it’s got an old-town feeling. The more, the better. It makes shopping more of an event.”
Antique stores in the Carson Valley:
n Antiques Plus, 2242 Main St., Genoa, 782-4951
n Laura Springs Ranch & Country Antiques and Eliza’s Closet, 1456 Foothill Road, south of Genoa, 782-2893
n Log Cabin Antiques, 1392 Highway 395, Gardnerville, 782-7878
n Tumblewind Antiques & Collectibles, 1600 Esmeralda Ave., Minden, 782-2444
n Brick House Antiques, 1461 Highway 395, Gardnerville, 783-3438
n Cara Bella, 1459 Highway 395, Gardnerville, 782-6191
n Old Town Antiques, 1424 Highway 395, Gardnerville, 783-8808
n Cheshire Antiques, 1423 Highway 395, Gardnerville, 782-9117
n Dublin House Antiques, 1482 Highway 395, Gardnerville, 782-2262