A walk through the aisles filled with shelves of antiques and various collectables is like a walk through time at Jones Trading Post.
For the past 35 years, the historical house on Golden’s 10th Avenue North has been home to one of the town’s most interesting shops, selling new and used antiques and collectables.
“I want to find a way to keep this building honoured, alive and viable in Golden’s future,” said Christine Ferguson, who has owned Jones Trading Post for the past 10 years with her husband Charles McElderry. The three-storey building, which has been around for 100 years, is also their home.
The couple has loved running the shop for the past decade, but in a changing world, they have put up a for sale sign in hopes someone else is wanting to carry on the tradition.
We’ve been wanting to pass the torch on to someone who wants to keep doing it, keep the building alive and vital, and part of Golden,” said Ferguson. “We need to get modern, get on the internet and bring that part into play. We thought someone else would like to take that torch and do all that fun stuff.”
The store spans two floors, and carries everything from furniture, electronics, and artwork, to books, collectables, vintage items and historical memorabilia. Stores like WalMart, with very inexpensive furniture and home appliances, have hurt the second hand business.
So Ferguson likes to focus on the antiques and collectables.
“The fun part is when we get to gather the really good things, and I get to research them on the internet. That’s what a person sort of lives for, the one piece that comes in that’s really special or unique,” said a smiling Ferguson during a tour of the business.
“Will this or that be popular, or has it passed it’s time? We don’t know, and after 10 years we still can’t tell. That’s the fun part.”
The Trading Post is separated into sections, some organized by decade, others by brand (like Avon or Hummel). Kitchenware and books have their own spot, as does electronics which Ferguson says used to be the “bread and butter” of the secondhand business, but has since become obsolete.
But one of the most special sections in the whole store is the “Golden” section. There is an entire corner of the shop dedicated to items that showcase the history of Golden.
“Because people know we have this section, people are starting to bring us things that are so cool,” said Ferguson, holding up some buttons and trucker hats from events and businesses around Golden.
They have a menu, covered in protective plastic, from the Golden Arms Hotel. The menu, from the 1960s, featured a Porterhouse steak for $4, and a cup of coffee for 10 cents.
“A lot of people around town will remember that hotel. It was the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights,” said Ferguson, adding that the building has now been demolished. “A lot of the boys that worked in the bush would hit that place for dinner.”
The antique business is a lot of work, but it has been Ferguson’s passion for many years. And she has found that there are a few perks to owning an antique store.
“Why we stuck to this business for so long, is so we can snatch up little treasures like this 1953 Tappen Deluxe Stove, and does it ever work well,” she said, pointing to a white stove in her home that I would only recognize from old movies.
Ferguson is a collector herself, and pointed out a few of her favourite pieces during a walkthrough of her home. She has an entire bookshelf full of “couples,” including duo of “dope-smoking aliens.”
“We have so many customers that have turned into friends, and I bet half of these (couples) have come from people who, once they know you collect something, they keep their eyes out for them,” she said.
Over the years she has developed relationships with quite a few regular customers, and has also racked up a few memorable stories from new visitors as well.
“We have a lot of regulars that bust in and have to tell their stories. And every day we get a story from some family that wanders in. The mom will say ‘I had that as a wedding gift,’ or something like that. It’s so wonderful to hear.”