Years Ago Antiques & Collectibles
Located in the beautiful woods and lakes region of northwestern Wisconsin’s Barron County, at the intersection of US Highway 63 and Wisconsin Highway 48 lies the city of Cumberland. And on Cumberland’s Main Street (2nd Avenue) just about in the middle of the downtown business district you’ll find Years Ago Antiques & Collectibles.
The story of Years Ago Antiques & Collectibles began in 1987. Doug Horton and his wife Kathryn were living in Racine, Wisconsin with their two children, Christine and Brian when they heard that the Coast-to-Coast hardware store in Cumberland was up for sale. They decided to check it out and in September of 1988 they became the new owners and settled into learning the hardware business.
Things went well for ten years until the Coast-to-Coast franchise merged with the True Value hardware franchise. Since there was already a True Value store in town, Doug and Kathy had a major decision to make – and the option to continue as a Coast-to-Coast store selling True Value branded merchandise was not a good one.
Then, one afternoon while having a casual conversation, a friend mentioned to Doug that if he had more time he would consider buying their building and he’d turn it into an Antiques Mini-Mall. Doug took the idea home to Kathryn and after a night of deep discussion they made the decision the sell down the hardware inventory and as space came available to convert the hardware store into an Antiques Shop. Years Ago Antiques & Collectibles was born and the friend who put the great idea into their heads became their first dealer.
It took over a year to make the transition – for a while they needed to be both a hardware store and an antiques shop, as they began the task of converting 5,000 square feet of hardware inventory to 5,000 square feet of high quality antiques and collectibles. But as the hardware inventory dwindled and the antiques inventory increased, both Doug and Kathryn found they had a knack for picking good quality and desirable antiques and collectibles and they also had a knack for picking good dealers. And Years Ago Antiques & Collectibles grew and flourished.
Now, sixteen years later, the hardware inventory is only a distant memory but the 5,000 square feet of constantly changing, quality antiques and collectibles presented by the 22 dealers who bring merchandise from a wide area of northwestern Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota continues to draw serious antiquers from around the country. The inventory changes so quickly that, as Doug says, “If you see something you like you’d better buy it because the next time you visit it will probably be gone.”
Doug and Kathryn and their 22 dealers invite you to come to Cumberland for a visit and to stop into Years Ago Antiques & Collectibles, and spend some time exploring everything that this unique shop has to offer. Just be sure to allow plenty of time – there’s a lot to see!