Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The artsy allure of a Jordan antique shop February 22, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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I’M DRAWN TO ANTIQUE SHOPS. Not necessarily because I’m scouting for an antique or collectible. Rather, the history, the art, the nostalgia, the connection to childhood memories draw me inside.

In an antique shop I find a certain comfort remembering days past, of simpler times, of stories, of the saving of an object that once meant something to someone.




On a recent stop in the Minnesota river town of Jordan, I explored several antique and specialty shops, including LB Antiques along Water Street in the heart of downtown. Natural light poured through the lengthy front windows, adding warmth to a space that would work well as an art gallery. I always appreciate antiques grouped artfully in uncluttered settings.

Within LB Antiques, I saw the work of an artistic shopkeeper.




I delighted in the graceful curve of an unadorned water pitcher symmetrically balanced between two ornate angel candle holders.




Tucked into a mostly unseen floor space, a vintage clown graphic grabbed my attention. I’ve always appreciated graphics, a nod to my days working as a newspaper reporter, photographer and occasional page designer.




On a shelf, the contrast of utilitarian textured metal pots created visual interest against signage in bold hues of yellow, orange, red and pink.




Likewise, a fabric banner advertising the 1967 Saint Paul Winter Carnival contrasted with the day—an exceptionally warm February afternoon of temps reaching near 60 degrees.




My eyes were drawn, too, to a beer bottle from Ernst Fleckenstein Brewery, a long ago brewery in Faribault. I alerted a local collector to this mint condition bottle with the lovely gold-edged type face.




Even the block letters of a hand-printed sign soliciting merchandise caused me to pause and appreciate.




In a back room, albums—two for $1—were stacked on tables, awaiting anyone willing to take the time to sort through them. For a collector of vinyl, this would equal striking a jackpot.




That’s the thing about antique shops. What I might care about, another shopper would find of no interest. And vice versa. Our pasts shape our interests. And nowhere does that seem more evident than inside an antique shop.

TELL ME: Do you browse antique shops? Why? What draws you inside?

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


22 Responses to “The artsy allure of a Jordan antique shop”

  1. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”..

  2. Valerie Says:

    My girlfriend and I love meandering through antique stores…to see all the unique items and reminisce…we can be entertained for hours in antique stores.

  3. Yes I browse antique shops and usually have an idea of what I am looking for (i.e. unique picture frames, decorative pieces that can add a pop of color to a room, etc.). I like that this shop tells you what they are looking for as well as the opportunity to bring in something that they might buy. The most interesting piece I have bought and brought home to decorate the Florida Room is a Tiki – he has a red/green turtle on top and a pineapple on the bottom and in between is his huge smile – very welcoming and a fun conversation piece. Happy Exploring – Enjoy Your Day 🙂

  4. Jackie Says:

    I’m not a huge fan of antiques, but I still like to walk through the shops, mostly just to see what there is, with an occasional, “Hey I remember those things”. I still have my box full of vinyl 45’s from the 70’s, cant imagine they are worth much, but someday I might see what someone would give me for them.

  5. Littlesundog Says:

    Forrest and I LOVE antiques. We don’t ever have anything in mind to purchase – though we did when we were first trying to add furnishings to our home. Now it’s more for entertainment – a way to enjoy getting out and just looking around. I love that so many small towns have hole-in-the-wall antique stores. Some of my best treasures have been found in those out-of-the-way places!

  6. If I could be, I would be, looking at the antiques with you.

  7. hazmatt Says:

    I like antiques as well, and estate sale shopping is one of my pastimes. For me, the history and stories of antiques are the main draw.

  8. Cheryl Nagel Says:

    It is so relaxing to look at stuff and imagine the original purpose, what was life back in “those” days…

  9. Gunny Says:

    Love looking, hate buying. My weakness are old history or biography books. On occasion, I just MIGHT find an article that I just can’t continue to live without but that is a rare occurrence indeed.

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