On a day trip here this past winter, my husband and I shopped at Pottery Place Historic Center, the old Red Wing Pottery factory which today houses antiques and specialty shops, eateries and a pottery museum.
Because we were only in town for a few hours, part of that time at a park watching for eagles, we toured just a minuscule section of Pottery Place. You could easily spend half a day here. Truly. Randy and I didn’t even get downtown except to drive through on our way to Covill Park.
Now we don’t necessarily buy a lot of antiques or collectibles at antique stores, preferring to find ours at garage and yard sales or thrift stores. But that doesn’t stop us from window shopping, or scouting for others.
You might call us “Minnesota Market Warriors,” referencing the public television show by that name, minus the “Minnesota.” The five cast members search for merchandise at flea markets with those items then sold at auction. It’s a competition. But, for the viewer, the show also presents history and market lessons.
On this particular Saturday, Randy would have won the competition. He found a Watt Ware pitcher stamped REDWOOD COUNTY, Farm Bureau Service Co., WABASSO, MINNESOTA. Score. Several extended family members collect Watt Ware from Redwood County, my home county.
Not being able to afford this pitcher ourselves, we called the potential buyers and were given the go ahead to purchase the piece, marked 20 percent off if paid for via cash or a check. After locating an ATM, the purchase was made.
Now, if we had been thinking, we would have auctioned off the pitcher to the highest bidder or charged a finder’s fee. But turns out one of the family members owns the exact same pitcher, gifted to her by our mother.
Jokingly, I told her, “OK, then, $XXX will be deducted from your inheritance.”
Yeah, just call me Miller Gaffney, the persistent Market Warriors Southerner who always haggles for a bargain and holds her purse strings tight.
BONUS PHOTOS from Pottery Place:
© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
All of the above images have been edited, some with a “cartoon” application to create a yesteryear appearance.