MORRISON – Don Jevne has packed 3,000 square feet of space on the main floor and the basement of the Old Hotel with collectibles and antiques.
He doesn’t take consignments or have independent vendors; everything here has been gathered by him and his wife, Jacqueline.
He also owns the local TruValu Hardware, which was was once housed in the former hotel building. After he bought a larger space for the hardware store, and turned the old three-story hotel into a fun place to browse and find treasures.
The new venture has incorporated the help of the hardware store staff, with each clerk taking a turn at the antiques and collectibles venue. Laura Frederick is there on Wednesdays. She is also the bookkeeper and helps to keep the place organized and clean.
One of the nice features about the store’s arrangement by a single owner, rather than several different vendors, is that collectibles tend to be displayed by type. Milk-glass and depression glass are sprinkled throughout, but tend to be displayed by color. Artwork, ranging from one-of-a-kind to Sterling Silver Franklin Mint pieces, is abundant throughout as are many other collectibles. Furniture and dishware, flatware, cast iron skillets and pots, kitchen utensils, cookie cutters, bake ware and kitchen gadgets are conveniently arranged somewhat in an area where they are displayed together.
The same is true of fishing reels, pocketknives, tools and bikes. A hardware-store mentality definitely has influenced the layout of the merchandise.
That is not a hard-and-fast-rule, however, so be sure to browse and peek at the backs of shelves and in the basement, as a shopper can find hand-painted bowls, glassware, and other household items mixed in with really unique antiques such as sewing machines, steamer trunks, furniture, armoires and wardrobes, crystal salt cellars and a “fireless cooker” that appears to be a precursor to the modern day crock pot. Made in 1918, it has the original instruction book with it, including recipes.
The basement houses a multitude of items, and it’s well worth the trip downstairs to search out treasures. Don says it’s a favorite place for younger folks to find things to furnish a new apartment or home.
“They tend to like the beer glasses and other interesting glassware,” he said.
Attorney Vince Chimera, from Chicago, browses between court appointments or at lunch while he’s in Morrison. He enjoys “connecting the past with the present” and has spent some very pleasant time searching for history in the shelves of the antique store.
Hunt for history
Old Hotel Antiques and Collectibles, 130 E. Main St. in Morrison, is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Call 815-772-4810 (True Value Hardware) for more information.