Antique shop offers more than antiques

Just one week after opening its doors, Gallery 219 Antiques at 114 N. Broad St. in downtown Ridgway is already unlike many of the antique shops in the area.The newly renovated space offers a wide variety of antiques and collectibles ranging from items dating back to the turn of the century to classic Americana from the 1950s. For store owner and St. Marys resident Stephen Bagley, antiquing or "junking" as he likes to refer to it runs in his blood."My grandfather was an antique dealer, my two aunts were antique dealers, and I was always going to flea markets 'junking' when I was a little kid," Stephen said. "My grandfather's antique shop was in Leeper and the flea market was practically right next door."Gallery 219 is owned and operated by St. Marys native Stephen and his wife Beth, who recently moved to the area from Alexandria, Va.Excited to be back in the area, Stephen says Elk County has a lot to offer in terms of antiques and collectibles."It's a great area for antiques," Stephen said. "It's not all picked through yet and you have generations of generations of people living in the same house."No matter the interest, customers are bound to find something for them, whether it be hood ornaments from the 1950s for the automobile enthusiast; military memorabilia from World War II including uniforms and a surveying tripod from the Army Corps of Engineers; shaving accessories; rotary phones; a washing machine circa 1900s; chalkware figurines given as prizes from carnivals in the 1930s and 40s; a fencing set from Italy; to items as odd as a human baby skull and primitives like an African ceremonial mask."We try to keep it interesting," Beth said. "We are hoping the mid-century modern pieces will take off here because we are really the only ones that do it in the area. Most antique shops are strictly antiques shops. "We have had a lot of things people have never seen in other shops. That's good for us because that's what we are shooting for. Hopefully people can find things here that they wouldn't find in other places."Gallery 219 Antiques is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.For more information contact Stephen and Beth at 772-1900.Pick up a copy of the Monday, July 16, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.