Shop gives nod to our history
Amy Deane recently opened Snow’s Feed Store Antiques, breathing new life into a historic building in Quinque.
“I can remember coming to this store, backing up to the end of the building, which is where you would dump your corn to have it mixed with molasses and grains,” Deane said. “There’s a chart still up that shows you how to make the mixture depending on the livestock. There were no Tractor Supply in that day.”
Deane is a sixth-generation Greene County native whose great-grandparents started Blue Run Grocery in 1931, which is located just down the mountain from Shenandoah National Park on U.S. Route 33. She believes deeply in preserving the history of the county. Her other venture, Wooly Lam in Ruckersville, is going into its eighth year in November.
“I took a leap and bought this building earlier this year so I could own a piece of our history and make a sister store for the Wooly Lam,” she said. “I see a lot of our history, our old buildings and post offices, being torn down and taken away. I want to preserve the history, too. I have some original pieces with the mill room and I’m reaching out to the community for anyone who owns historical items to reach out to me. I am going to display them in the mill room.”
Recently, Deane purchased the “Customer Parking” sign from the red antique store building in the old Dulaney Brothers store.
“The day after I purchased it, a lady from Culpeper reached out to me after she found out that I had purchased it,” Deane said. “She’s the daughter of the man who painted that sign and I was going to give it back to her but when she found out that I’m putting it up in the mill room they decided to give me a picture of him to display with the sign and of the old building they’re going to tear down.”
Even though Deane has had success with the Wooly Lam, which is a 9,000-square-foot building with 26 vendors, she said she was still nervous buying the 4,000-square-foot feed store building, built in 1900—but she already has 12 vendors signed on.
“I think it’s a very scary time to take this leap of faith with COVID-19 cases going up again,” Deane said. “But, we live in a very small, close-knit community and it’s just been very supportive.”
Snow’s Feed Store Antiques is an umbrella that houses other small businesses within.
“So, you’re not just supporting one small business, you’re supporting multiple, which is the same way as the Wooly Lam,” Deane said. “I would not have been able to take this leap if I did not feel the community would support it. The community is very good about buying local and supporting local.”
Deane plans to fix up an old Coke machine to place near the entrance for glass bottles of Coke for guests as they shop. Behind the cash register is an old Coke advertisement found in the back of the building and an old red Coca-Cola cooler below it.
The mill room still houses the grinder and molasses machine, among other bins and bags from when it was a feed store. On one wall is the Purina chart that told mixers how much of what to use with the corn to create the proper feed for the type of animals.
“I have the old corn cutter, too,” Deane said. “You’d lay your stalks of corn there and cut them. It says ‘Harris & Son Charlottesville, Virginia.’ They made that piece for them here.”
Deane said there is still a lot of maintenance she needs to do at the new shop—which is just 2 miles from the Wooly Lam—so it will be open every day except for Wednesdays until at least the beginning of 2022. One goal for the sister store is to have somewhere to refer drivers on U.S. Route 29 out onto U.S. Route 33 and vice versa, as well as recommending other places to visit and eat while the customer is in town.
“In the antiques business, we’re a close knit network,” she said. “We work together very well.”
Snow’s Feed Store Antiques is located at the intersection of U.S. 33 and Amicus Road at 12785 Spotswood Trail. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For information, call (434) 990-1000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or find it on Facebook @snowsfeedstoreantiques.