Monday, February 13, 2017

An Unusual Shopping Trip



After being unable to leave town for quite awhile due to Justin's surgery, events for the kids and just taking a break from traveling since Christmas, we decided to hit the road this weekend.  Justin took Ben fishing and I took the two younger kids to visit my sister.  After being gone constantly for months I was happy to not have to pack and travel for a while but I was starting to get bored and wanted to go somewhere.  Our weekend adventures used to involve shopping, hair salons, more shopping, drinking, bars and then coffee and more shopping but she has two kids now and lives on a farm and...well...I have been wanting to drink a bottle of wine in my fridge since new years but I can't find my corkscrew and I can't go shopping without a double stroller so...

She did have a plan for us, however.  In a nearby town there is a closed school.  In this closed school is what is called a "furniture outlet".  I would describe it more as a massive thrift store/antique store/flea market spread throughout the cavernous rooms of an old brick school building which I know I've described my fascination with and love for on here before.  She likes to refinish and refurbish furniture and I like the IDEA of doing it but I haven't actually learned to do much yet besides painting. So she was looking for furniture and I was just looking for whatever.  Of course, I always keep my eyes out for globes, maps, fiestaware, items with a cat motif and Coca-Cola or other vintage soda and beverage related things.  We left the two older kids with my sister's mother-in-law and took our younger babies with us in strollers.

I got excited when we approached the building.   

When I see a building like this I just want to explore.  Part of the interest comes from the fact that I attended school in a building like this which was built in 1908 and it still stands and is being used today, along with several additions.  Ours was bigger than this one and more ornate.  It had (or I should say still has) fancier woodwork, an extra "basement garden" level and an attic with a window where classes were held in the packed baby boom days.  It even has a stained glass arch over the main door which I always thought was so beautiful to have in a school.  Once I was given access to the attic with a class I was in because we were carrying old shop tables downstairs for a short term shop class (students probably wouldn't be allowed to help with a task like that anymore) and I could have hung out up in that huge creepy room all day rifling through old school stuff.

The entrance was at a newer one story addition and the owners were hanging out in what must have been the front office.  There were murals painted on the walls and it makes me sad to think that people cared about this place before.  My sister told me the "new" part was heated but not the big old part but it wasn't a freezing cold day so we weren't too worried. 



You can see the sign saying 3rd/4th grade on the door.  That means they shared a teacher. 

A sampling of the displays.  You can see the chalk board behind the pictures. 

A cool old cabinet.

Every cupboard was filled with merchandise!


After walking around downstairs we hauled our strollers up into the old "cold" building.  AT the top of the steps there was a table piled with sewing patterns and fabric and other sewing stuff. 

Here is the "chair" room.  It was quite a sight to see. 


I was tempted to buy that dark colored chair up on the table by the wall because it was very solid and not at all rickety.  If there had been a full set I probably would have but there were only two.  If you haven't been to my house lately, you don't know that Milo's high chair is on a folding chair so we might need to get a new set in the future! 

I just loved details like transoms.  Those actually are very useful during the hot days of September in old non-air conditioned places like this.  That closet there was full of bed frames because they had many headboards for sale.


I like these old coat rooms.  Most of the rooms in the old building where I went to school were for high school classes but sixth grade was in there instead of in the new elementary wing downstairs so I hung my coat in a room like this once.  I would through quite a maze to get to that room by the mid 90's but I can imagine how good it felt to get into that warm room with a hot radiator in the old days when students walked right up to the main front door.


There was a very large classroom devoted to Christmas decorations.  Oh my word was it ever excessive...I looked for my coveted tabletop ceramic light up Christmas tree that I always am hunting for but I didn't find one.  I was also hoping to find some of those cool "Shiny Brite"  ornaments but I didn't see any of those either.  People are on to those being special...

What I picture here is just the beginning of what was in this building.  The whole place was packed.  There was a room filled with books with so many tall shelves I couldn't navigate my stroller through them.  There was a room of upholstered furniture, a room of toys, and a corridor filled with tools and hardware.  There were shelves of sheet music which I would have loved to dig through for an hour (come on, Milo, it wouldn't have been that bad!) and a room full of end tables and desks.  There were headboards stacked along a whole length of wall in plywood stall type things and so many dishes...I feel like no one should ever buy a coffee mug again based on how many are floating around out there.  We saw a trash can full of freebie coffee mugs that they probably just had to toss to make room. 

On the way out we asked the owner how they obtained all the merchandise and she said most of it comes from estates that they buy as a lot if the people don't want to deal with an auction. 

So...what did we leave with?  My sister bought a cool old high chair with a missing tray and I bought this:


It was hanging on the wall with some paintings.  It has a ball of string behind it.  I think it is for people who knit or crochet so they can hang it by their chair and the yarn feeds out of its mouth.  Or maybe it is for a place where someone would use twine a lot?   I don't know but it's weird and it's a cat so I couldn't leave it behind.  There was only one globe but it was nothing special and the only Fiestaware I saw was cream which doesn't match mine because I have white mixed in with mine. 

So that was my weekend adventure.  Being in the school made me sad because abandoned schools have such a feeling of loneliness.  At least this one is being used for something interesting.  This is not the typical way these building end up though.  They usually end up with caved in roofs and boarded up windows. 

2 comments:

Ashley Strukel said...

RM, let's go there (kidless) someday! It looks so fun! Also, that cat is terrifying.

Kristy said...

I think your cool cat is an antique kitchen twine holder--I saw Mario Batali talking about them one day. Like when you would need to use the string to tie your chicken up. Do a good search for antique kitchen twine dispensers. Neat place!