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Find a Treasure on the Antique Trail

Jinifer Rae

Freelance Writer

Mountain City is growing, but it is not just the population that is expanding rapidly. The local antique market has taken on a steep growth, which is noticeable.

Although some local residents affectionately call a section of Church Street “antique alley,” that nickname no longer seems to apply. Most alleyways are small by nature, but the expansion of antique shops is far too significant to be considered small.

Mountain City’s antique shops are an absolute treasure trove of good things. I have counted four stores just in one block of downtown. Some may feel these places are full of old junk, but nothing could be further from the truth. One never knows what prize can be found.

For instance, two weeks ago, I wandered into Mountain City Antiques and Collectibles and Sassy Cats on Church Street and found the perfect cookie jar.

This “new to me” cookie jar was the perfect addition to my kitchen décor. The vintage beauty could not be found in another store; an antique treasure indeed.

Visiting an antique store is like going on a treasure-hunting quest. Shoppers never know what can be found as the walk through the aisles can take an exciting turn. During one of these adventures, my husband picked up an odd-looking tool.

While holding it high and scrutinizing the rusted metal, the shopkeeper spoke up and informed us that it was a garden tool long out of use. This funny object led to an interesting discussion about how times have changed, and thanks to modern technology, some aspects of gardening are less arduous.

The conversation was a wonderful teaching opportunity for our son to learn about our great city.

Just up the road, a spell on 421, are a few more amazing stores. At Vintage Rust, I found the perfect glider for my garden. It was exactly like the one we had when we were first married. So comfortable to sit and gently rock while watching the birds.

Just past that unique store is another really cool place to wander around the aisles is Iron Horse Antiques. I found a super cool hand-painted rock, yes, a rock. That particular treasure is not vintage per se but a jewel nonetheless.

If you drive further up towards Trade, TN, there are a couple of other stores I highly recommend.

One is called Knerr’s Vintage Treasures.

“Our business is doing fantastic,” said owner Debbie Knerr. “We are selling a lot of antique signs. But many visitors also enjoy our Amish jams and different cheeses.”

Of course, Knerr’s is not the only shop you can find delicious treats. If your travels have you in the Trade area, please stop in and check out a store housed in a red building. At Country Road Antiques, you can sit for a spell in the cool of the porch. In addition to a restful atmosphere, this particular store has something extra special; the absolute best peanut butter fudge. After all, treasure hunters need sustenance too, and what could be better than fudge?

A rainy Saturday took me to the Antique store called Mountain Antiques and Collectibles. I loved wandering the enormous porch covered in treasures, too many to mention. Behind an old rusted stove, I found exactly what I was looking for. Imagine my excitement after gently repositioning that stove to see a gorgeous maple hutch. The curves on the shelves as they change size from largest on the bottom to smallest on the top shelf makes it truly unique. Don’t even get me started on how beautiful the legs on this piece of furniture are. I fell in love and was able to obtain this special piece of furniture for a great price. The cupboard needed a little oil and lots of love to become the centerpiece holding my dishes. That dreary Saturday morning suddenly felt warm and sunny.

As our town grows, it is exciting to see all the new venues popping up around Mountain City. But it is also wonderful to see the vintage being embraced with a large selection of antique shopping opportunities.

Live the adventure, and who knows what new treasure you will find, or even what new antique store is just around the corner on the trail.