Q&A: Antiquing in Lynchburg, VA with Kathy Brown

This Q&A interview will read a little bit differently since I decided to combine it with some highlights from my wonderful weekend in Lynchburg, VA. What’s in Lynchburg you ask? The Mr.’s family, which includes my lovely mother-in-law, Kathy, who happens to share some of the same hobbies and past-times that I have! One of my favorite things in the world, after a long workweek, is to leave the city and spend a weekend hopping antique shops and yard sales in the rolling landscape around Lynchburg, Amherst and Appomattox, VA.

One of my favorite places in Lynchburg...Estate Specialists!

Kathy knows were all the awesome little outta-the-way spots are…mostly because she’s lived in this region for all of her life.  Estate Specialists is one of our first stops whenever we head out treasure hunting. Every time we visit the shop, one of us is sure to find that special something sitting at the bottom of a pile merchandise. On this trip, Kathy found a wonderful early glass butter churn and cute black table/bench that she plans to use as a display for some of her antique crocks. I was digging in a large pile of random prints and frames and found this amazing early 1900 lithograph of an elk for $25 in a wonderful black Victorian frame. I think the subject matter of this print will look great with some of my arts and crafts furniture!

What did we find? An glass butter churn, small painted table and an antique lithograph!

Two gals on a shopping rampage can certainly draw up an appetite! Conveniently located directly across the street from Estate Specialists is the darling Ploughcroft Tea Room. We tried to get a table, but alas, the entire placed was packed with reservations. And judging by the menu, its no wonder…you can enjoy such delectables such as “The Plough” Shepard’s Pie or the Somerset Cheese and Onion Tart!

The Tea Room...better make a reservation!

Since the tea room was a no-go, we opted for another adorable restaurant down the street called Market and Main. Once we filled up on fresh cod sandwiches, fried green tomatoes and my all-time favorite, sweet tea, we headed out for one more antiquing stop. Lou’s Antique Mall is a great place to find just about anything. From farm tables, victorian cabinets, china and smalls…they got it. But be ready to pay retail here…even though the shop owner informed me that they do a 3 month layaway and some dealers offer as much as 20% off on some items.

Lots to see at Lou's Antique Mall!

After Lou’s, we stopped to check out this old mill that’s been a family business since 1813!! That’s a whole lotta cornmeal people!! What you don’t see here are the chickens that were running around on the property and the family farmhouse up on the hill to the right. There’s a beautiful stream that runs behind the property and makes the entire scene something out of a movie. I can’t image that there are many working mills like this one still in existing today in America. It was a lovely end to a lovely day and as the weather gets warmer, I’ll be anxious to go back and visit and do it all over again!

Get your grits on at this 200 year old mill!

Q: Tell me briefly a little about yourselves. What are your interests or your hobbies?

Kathy: I love primitive furniture and looking for that next “find.” I love to knit and primitive rug hooking. I was born and raised in Lynchburg, VA and am one of the Daughter’s of Confederacy…in the Kirwood-Otey Division.

Q: What are some of your favorite decorating magazines?

Kathy: I love to read A Primitive Place and Southern Accents was one of my all-time favorites before it went out of print.

Q: Describe your style in three words:

Kathy: Eclectic, primitive, country.

Q: Do you have any decorating rules?

Kathy: Less is more.

Lovely old grain bin greets visitors at the front door...

Q: Where did most of your antique collection come from?

Kathy: Almost all of my antiques have come from Virginia. I’ve been collecting for 30 years. My first piece was a butter churn that was priced at $20, that my husband purchased for me.

Q: Do you have a favorite genre/style of antiques?

Kathy: I love primitives. I look at these early pieces and think back to what women went through…how they lived over 200 years ago. They used these articles in their everyday life and that is fascinating to me. These pieces have endured centuries while most of the average furniture made today doesn’t last.

Lookin' for a firkin? Check out this beauty that used to hold sugar.

Q: Where did you find the antique grain bin?

Kathy: That was a lucky find on craigslist for $30. It came out of an old barn in Pamplin, VA, which is on the other side of Appomattox.

One of many antique crocks in Kathy's collection paired with child's boots.

Q: What can you tell us about this crock and the little shoes sitting next to it?

Kathy: I love stone. Isn’t it crazy to think that this was an early form of Tupperware? Women used to store food in these containers and keep them in their pantry. That particular crock was from an estate sale here in Lynchburg, VA…it was a beautiful old home. As for the little shoes…I bought them at a primitive antique show in the Shenandoah Valley, but the antique dealer told me they came from Pennsylvania.

Beautiful spinning wheel surround by more civil-war era crocks.

Q: I love your spinning wheel. What can you tell us about it? 

Kathy: That is an old spinning wheel that I found last year at a shop called Old Mill Primitives, located in Goodview, VA. It dates to about 1860…so around the time of the civil war. It was used to spin wool and it’s all original. When I saw it, it really spoke to me because I love to knit. It was interesting getting that into my car and getting it home!

Q: What are some of your favorite pieces in your collection? 

Kathy: I’ve been collecting quilts for years. A 97-year-old woman at church made one of my quilts…and that is probably my favorite quilt. Her name was Pearl. I remember she used to use an old quilting frame to make them.

An array of vintage quilts in an antique laundry basket from Fisherville, VA.

Q: Do you have a favorite place to shop for unique treasures? 

Kathy: Estate Specialists, here in Lynchburg, VA or any off the beaten path small shop.

Have you been antiquing with your mother-in-law or is there someone else in your family who share’s your collecting passion? If so, tell me about it!

Copyright 2012. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

5 thoughts on “Q&A: Antiquing in Lynchburg, VA with Kathy Brown

  1. Wow. I felt as though I’d spent a delightful day in Lynchburg, VA ~~ a place I’ve been but never fallen in love with before. And speaking of love: I think everyone out there will agree that call it what you want (junquing, picking, antiquing, etc), it’s ALWAYS more fun when you go with someone special. How delightful to read about a loving day with one’s mother-in-law. Do. Did you buy any flour?

  2. Well, I meant to type “So” and typed “Do” near the end of that post. Am I turning into Homer Simpson?

    I did have one other comment, though. The photography that accompanies your stories is superb, Erin. I feel like I’m leafing through a glossy paper mag. Kudos!

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