By Carole Grosch | Reporter
Step into this gem of a shop in Old Town and be swept into an earlier time, where possessions from the past are met with memories and nostalgia.
Smell the fresh coffee and stop for a minute to take in the smorgasbord of offerings, from the beautifully decorated dining room tables, complete with linens and silverware, to display cases of unique one-of-a-kind jewelry. Chandeliers of all types hang from the ceiling, fine art grace the walls.
Marty Watt has owned the store for 20 years and runs it along with her daughter and son. The family owned business is 8,000 square feet and houses 26 dealers, each with their own business license who rent space for showing their wares. There’s a feel of continuity, walking from dealer to dealer, continuity with the past.
“We have the real thing,” said Watt. “No reproductions and we’re not consignment. Each dealer pays rent and that hasn’t been raised in 16 years. There are no fees or interest for layaway and we offer free gift wrapping.
“Hospitality is important to us. We offer coffee and treats and are only closed three days of the year – Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving.”
There is everything imaginable for the home: Fine antiques, china and glassware, mission arts and crafts, collectibles, memorabilia, pottery, linens, estate jewelry, clothing, oak and Victorian furniture, lighting, toys, vintage postcards, magazines and maps.
Then there are the books.
Oh, the books. There is just about everything from Dr. Seuss and Little Golden Books to paperbacks and hardcover books on all kinds of subjects. It’s possible to spend an entire afternoon just browsing reading material.
The mall is one of two antique stores that sell estate items. Other services offered include giving appraisals and restoring treasured pieces. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, always willing to help.
“I encourage competition,” says Watt, who has served on B.O.O.T. for two sessions. “The more that people come together, makes Old Town a fun experience to window shop. And we can do old time window displays – we have 14 windows!”
The Original 4th Street Antique Mall is located at 401 Pollasky Ave. in Old Town Clovis.