Stories from the Smokies
For many shoppers, antiquing inspires creativity in your home or cabin; for others, it’s a trip down memory lane. Yet according to one shop owner, “it’s not just nostalgia when young kids spend hours looking for ‘cool stuff’ – trains, comic books, and marbles.” Bryson City’s three downtown antique stores offer an endless variety of old time goods.
(above) Charleston Station
Calby's Antiques

Calby’s Antiques
44 Everett Street
828-538-4830, 828-736-6418
Ivan Gibby and Frank Calhoun

Built in 1905 as a pharmacy and soda fountain, the Calby’s store is itself an antique. The original owner, Dr. Aurelius McDonald Bennett, was both a pharmacist and a surgeon. At the turn of the century, (full story below)

Charleston Station

Charleston Station
105 Main Street
828-488-2534
Diana Clampitt

You’re liable to find owner Diana Clampitt in a rocker on the wide front porch, visiting with friends and welcoming visitors who browse in her shop, located in a historic 1920s home. (full story below)

Buttermilk Farms

Buttermilk Farms Antique Market
147 Main Street
828-736-5529
Susan Leading Fox

Susan Leading Fox began her antique business journey as a dealer selling at flea markets and then in other antique shops. All that experience as a dealer led her (full story below)

Calby’s Antiques

Built in 1905 as a pharmacy and soda fountain, the Calby’s store is itself an antique. The original owner, Dr. Aurelius McDonald Bennett, was both a pharmacist and a surgeon. At the turn of the century, there was no hospital and each doctor operated their own full-service clinic. Dr. Bennett’s was upstairs over the pharmacy. Two more generations of Bennetts operated the pharmacy, until it was sold in 1993 to local music teacher and musician, Ivan Gibby. It is a life come full circle for Ivan, because he remembers sitting in one of the booths enjoying a soda as a teen, having a tooth pulled upstairs, and later working for the pharmacist while in college.

It is a store with surprises as you walk past shelves filled with glassware, china, ceramic pitchers, lamps, framed prints, and collectibles. Locally made jewelry mixes with antique brooches and earrings. Small furniture, picture frames, and a unique 1937 Wurlitzer Butterfly Baby Grand Piano, which Ivan has been known to play for visitors to the shop.

Calby’s is well known for its themed window displays using antiques, particularly the Christmas and Hanukkah displays. The lighted Christmas Village display on the long front counter is also a favorite of locals and visitors alike during the holidays.

Unfortunately, the original soda fountain could not be upgraded to today’s standards, but you can still see it and sit on one of the stools in the Friends of the Library Used Book Store next door.

Frank & Ivan
Proprietors Frank Calhoun and Ivan Gibby
Calby's Antiques displays
Leopold store mascot
Leopold, the store mascot, sits atop the 1937 Wurlitzer Butterfly Baby Grand Piano.
Calby's glassware

Charleston Station

You’re liable to find owner Diana Clampitt in a rocker on the wide front porch, visiting with friends and welcoming visitors who browse in her shop, located in a historic 1920’s home. Once a boarding house, the two-story building has 18 rooms filled with wonderful treasures of old and new merchandise. Antiques are a passion of hers. She will tell you, “I’ve always been fascinated by old things and I enjoy preserving them and sharing them with others.” Some items in the shop are precious to her and not even for sale.

Walking through the shop you’ll see many locally made items, such as quilts, rustic wood frames, walking and hiking sticks, and Cherokee Indian baskets. She also has jewelry, linens, scarves and old-fashioned ladies hats.

For those looking for decor for home or cabin, Charleston Station has a nice variety of vintage furniture including wooden coat racks, dressers and other small furniture; as well as crockery and jugs; glassware; kids wooden toys; and a large collection of books.

Just a few doors down, her family-owned N.C. Clampitt Hardware store – that locals call the “Old Store” – is where you will find canning and baking supplies, galvanized buckets, bird houses and feeders, and Radio Flyer wagons on the old wooden floors and displayed on original shelving of the 1901 building that has been in the family since 1966.

facebook.com/CHARLESTONSTATION

Owner, Diana Clampitt
Owner Diana Clampitt
Charleston Station quilt room
Hand-sewn quilts
Old Clampitt store
The NC Clampitt “Old Store”

Buttermilk Farms Antique Market

Susan Leading Fox began her antique business journey as a dealer selling at flea markets and then in other antique shops. All that experience as a dealer led her to realize she could have her own business with other dealers in her shop. In 2015, she opened her dealer-based market in 3,000 sq. ft, which allows for a variety of merchandise that is critical because what people want changes constantly. As Susan says, “It takes a lot of work to continually be hunting stuff. We burn the roads up going to estate sales, auctions, and flea markets. You can’t get comfortable ever.”

Current top sellers include small furniture such as benches, tables and chairs; linens (including quilts); vinyl records; farm decor (crates, implements, tools, metal, buckets, etc.); and stained glass window decor. The store has dealers who gravitate to certain things – one dealer likes pyrex, rusty stuff, farm stuff. Another paints and repurposes furniture. She also has Cherokee baskets, purses made of recycled materials, vintage signs, knives, vinyl records, and cameras.

Along the way she earned her certification as an auctioneer, which comes in handy for her Facebook live sales on Monday evenings. Buyers are on from all over the country and Susan keeps the show moving with her knowledge about what’s for sale and a good bit of humor. But, to really see what she has, you need to stop by and take a look for yourself.

facebook.com/buyalltheantiques

Susan Leading Fox
Owner Susan Leading Fox
Buttermilk antiques
Old vinyl
Dealer booths

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