Washington shop commemorates the past

Published 8:14 pm Friday, December 1, 2017

The shelves of Pat Williams Stegall’s shop, South Market Antiques, almost always feature select Christmas-y pieces, but once the yuletide season rolls around she pulls out all the stops.

“I do leave a few things out year ’round, but they take center stage during the holidays,” said Stegall of her shop, in its new location on Main Street in downtown Washington. “Everyone likes the old ornaments, like the Shiny Brites, and the blow molds.”

Stegall currently has a nice selection of both in stock; Shiny Brite ornaments were at the height of their popularity during the 1950s while blow molds, plastic pieces depicting Santa or snowmen usually, were all the rage during the 1960s.

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES: South Market Antiques is a collector’s paradise of holiday decorations and children’s toys, many dating from the 1950s and 1960s. Vintage inspired pieces are also featured in the shop.

Also featured are a variety of china and glass pieces in Christmas themes, nativity scenes and other decorations reminiscent of those found in grandmother’s home so many years ago.

Some of the vintage toy trucks and dolls displayed almost certainly once lay beneath Christmas trees, awaiting their new owners Christmas morning.

“People always love vintage Christmas and even some of the new stuff if it looks like it’s vintage,” Stegall noted.

When she opened South Market Antiques seven years ago, Stegall was following a family tradition. Her grandfather, Wilmer Williams, owned and operated Williams’ Junk Store in Pinetown.

“He even had printed on his business cards ‘we buy junk and sell antiques,'” said Stegall, laughter lighting up her eyes.

Stegall enjoys searching through shops when she’s traveling, looking for treasures to bring home with her.

“And I have a few pickers who come by … people will come by and sell me things,” she added.

Not everything ends up on the shop’s shelves, however; Stegall has quite a collection of her own at home.

“I love aluminum Christmas trees,” she said. “Between me and my cousin, we’ve got a forest of trees!”

South Market Antiques is celebrating its first Christmas at its new location, 223 W. Main St. in Washington. The shop is open Mondays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.