Store gets new life

First Posted: 10/21/2011

Amanda Munger

Staff Writer

LUMBERTON — The brick building at 119 W. Fourth St. has a rich history — housing everything from Sanderson’s Grocery Store in the 1920s to 1940s to a pool hall over the years.

“Fourth Street was where all the activity was,” said Linda Sanderson, part owner of Riverside Antiques and Things. “People would come downtown and do all their shopping on Fourth Street. I even have a student who remembers coming here in a covered wagon.”

In 2000, Linda’s husband Wesley Sanderson renovated the building so that his wife could teach Adult High School for Robeson Community College in the back.

And now, the front of the building has had yet another reincarnation: an antique store.

Riverside Antiques and Things, a joint project among Linda and Wesley Sanderson and their friends Jackie and Gary Thomas, opened on Oct. 15. It hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Dishes and furniture, as well as sterling silver jewelry and baskets adorn the wooden floored building, hanging from walls, stacked on shelves and creating a homey feeling.

“It’s a warm, friendly place,” said Jackie, who was busy antiquing in Pinehurst last week. “… The atmosphere is nice. It’s clean and packed — we have variety of things.”

The couples take turns manning the store and antiquing to bring in more finds.

The prices in the store range from a few dollars for a fabric coaster to $500 for a wooden table and chairs. A portion of the store’s proceeds go toward the high school classes Linda teaches.

Jackie’s items, which line one wall of the store, include wood pieces that she has acquired in the more than 30 years she has been shopping for antiques.

“I’ve never seen a piece of oak that I didn’t like if it was in good condition,” Jackie said. “It’s a passion.”

Linda and Wesley’s finds, which line the facing wall, run the gamut.

“It’s a little primitive and it’s a little country and it’s a little turn of the century, and it’s a little this and a little of that,” Linda said.

So far business has been good, especially on Friday and Saturdays, but Linda thinks that once the community is more aware of the store, it will pick up.

Linda and Gary have been selling at Somewhere in Time for years and at the Peddler’s Mall, which is where they met Jackie and Gary, two retired teachers from Virginia.

“It’s just nice to be able to bring in your own items and finally have room to put them,” Linda said. “Out there you are kind of limited.”

Linda is most excited about selling baskets and sterling silver jewelry, including Pandora bracelets, rings, anklets and more.

Wesley loves finding antique dishware, pointing out his finds and discussing the craftsmanship. He suffered a stroke in 2006, and can often be found sitting in one of the two rocking chairs at the back of the store.

“They said he wouldn’t walk, he wouldn’t talk, he would never be able to drive or function,” Linda said “He had a feeding tube for over a year. But deep down he has always loved going to auctions.”

Wesley has recovered, and is able to walk, talk and drive.

“He’s a big part of this because he loves this stuff so much,” Linda said. “It’s kind of a therapy for him and a place for him to come and meet all these people because he knows everybody. It’s going to be a real good social outlet for him.”

As customers peruse the collection of goods, Linda and Wesley chat with them like old friends. Wesley told one customer to come back the next morning and he’d have a pot of coffee ready.

“We’re just playing and having a good time,” Wesley said.

n Staff writer Amanda Munger can be reached at (910) 272-6144 or [email protected]

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