Tag Archives: EuroLux Home

Things We Love: Collection of Thanksgiving Pilgrims

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I talked with my mother-in-law Kathy about her collection of more than 700 pilgrims.

We have always been big fans of displaying personal collections in your home. Recently I blogged about decorative ways to display a collection and ways to display your ceramics collection. I think a collection adds character and personality to your home and looks so interesting creatively grouped together.

Kathy with her collection of Thanksgiving pilgrimsTo use one of my favorite Southern expressions (I occasionally try to throw them in to fit in with the locals, bless my heart) my mother-in-law, Kathy, has a pilgrim collection “what-am!” For those of you who need a translation, that is a very large and completely impressive collection of pilgrims – and other Thanksgiving-related – objects.

The first pilgrims in the collectionIt all started more than 30 years ago, circa 1982. Kathy was strolling through a Hallmark store in the mall and ran across a pair of pilgrim sculptures that she thought were cute. (The little tiny ones in the left front corner of the raised platform in this photo.)

She bought them on a whim and showed them to John when she got home. Probably because she was so delighted with them, John soon brought home another pair of pilgrims – just to make her smile. (Those were the next two to the right.)

Pilgrims collection Thanksgiving displayNot long after that, Kathy found another pair of pilgrims in a local K-Mart, and a collection was born. Friends and family gave her pilgrims around Thanksgiving every year and sometimes as holiday gifts.
The burgeoning collection grew to include Indians, pumpkins, turkeys, cornucopias and all things Thanksgiving-related. To date, Kathy estimates she has around 700 objects in her prized pilgrim collection – it is incredibly impressive when displayed together, as she does in the EuroLux Gallery window starting in October every year. Collection of pilgrimsPassersby can’t help but stop in their tracks and exclaim with wonder!

Thanksgiving pilgrims sculpturesKathy especially loves pilgrims because to her they represent courage, bravery, and fortitude.

She greatly admires their willingness to leave behind everything familiar and set out to build a new life in an unknown world, far across the ocean. The pilgrims had to make do with so little and work so hard in order to survive.

It really bothers Kathy that Thanksgiving is the holiday that doesn’t get much airtime. Halloween runs into Christmas in our retail stores, but Thanksgiving doesn’t get much attention – probably because the focus isn’t buying stuff. She thinks we should take more time to honor the bravery of the pilgrims – and to be thankful for what we have in our lives, including relationships with family and friends.

Pilgrims collection Thanksgiving displayKathy’s absolute favorite pilgrimage site (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) was to Plymouth, Massachusetts, which she describes as “pilgrim heaven.” There were shops on every corner with an amazing selection of pilgrim-related things! Some were even life-size, but Kathy restrained due to limited space in the car during the New England adventure. She did enjoy seeing Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower.

Pilgrim figures collectionKathy’s collection contains pilgrims in all shapes and sizes – monkeys, bears, dogs, foxes, chipmunks, cats, mice, and plenty of owls dressed as pilgrims. She tries not to duplicate the ones she has, and she is always glad to serve as a pilgrim matchmaker when she finds a single pilgrim man or a pilgrim woman all by their lonesome. In fact, she found a single pilgrim woman in Waynesville, NC, who had lost her mate to breakage, and paired her up – a year and a half later – with the original matching pilgrim man, whose mate had been stolen from a shop in Columbus, OH! Reunited at last in a happy and growing pilgrim colony in South Carolina.

Kathy is a real inspiration to us, and to everyone who sees her pilgrim collection in the store window. Come and see it if you find yourself on Historic Main Street, Newberry, South Carolina. (We’re at number 1409.) We wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving holiday in the true spirit of the pilgrims!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 9 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Vintage Life: The Mystery Behind the Sign

EuroLux Home Antiques GalleryWe often tell you stories about the renovation of our 1920s vintage bungalow, but I’ve got a vintage story to tell you today about our buildings on Main Street, Newberry, SC.

In addition to the EuroLux Home gallery at 1409 Main Street (left) we also own 1407 Main Street. This is where Greg fixes computers and cell phones in his business, The Computer Doctor. (The EuroLux gallery is the drop off and pick up point for The Computer Doctor. We’re multi-talented here!)

That building has an upstairs loft which has never been renovated, nor used as anything other than non-air-conditioned storage space. When we purchased the building years ago, we planned to renovate, like our near-neighbors the Millers did in my post about Historic Newberry Main Street.

Loft2Here’s the loft. The photo is a bit dark because the windows are boarded up and all of the light bulbs were burnt out. I lugged a ladder up and changed them all but it remains pretty dark. It’s still is a very cool space and it has a neat story.

We intended to convert it into an upstairs loft apartment while expanding our business into the downstairs.
BUT! The best laid plans… We ended up finding our little vintage bungalow that we’re renovating and since it had a yard for the dogs, we decided that would be a better way to go than the loft. We still plan to renovate the loft in the future but for now let me just tell you the great old story about the building.

Back in the 1930s, Main Street in Newberry was a busy place. I shared some old-timey pictures in this Vintage Life blog post. It was the county seat, had the court house, and was the place to go shopping for all the folks that worked at the three cotton mills in town.

Nails marking 40 feetThere were actually two hardware stores in the same block on Main street, owned by two competing Lominack cousins. Those were Lominack’s Hardware (where EuroLux Home is currently located at 1409 Main Street) and Frank Lominack’s Hardware at 1403 Main Street.

You can still see the numbers on the floor in the EuroLux Home Gallery marking the number of feet for the hardware store’s measurements of rope and chain. (The photo at left shows the 40 feet marker.)

Old sign on EuroLuxHome buildingWe’ve also left the Lominack Hardware painted sign on the back of the building.

The story that I’ve heard said that the two cousins were always trying to one up each other in order to get more business by offering different products and services.

Frank Lominack’s Hardware decided to open a shooting range in the basement in order to corner the market and draw more folks into his hardware store. So the story goes, in November of 1934 a stray bullet hit the dynamite that was also stored in the basement and blew up the building!

You can see more about it in this old article in the Gastonia Daily Gazette.  There was $200,000 of damage. That’s a lot of money today but in 1934 it was a huge amount of money!

Loft of store with vintage signWe currently own 1405 Main Street and rent it out to our tenant, Expressions, a hair salon.

That previously 2 story building was occupied by a business called Livingston & Son General Merchandise at the time of the explosion. It was so damaged by the explosion that it had to be rebuilt, but the owner decided to only build it as a one-story building.

Our 1407 Main Street building was built after that business had opened, so the interior wall of 1407 Main Street actually shows the original painted advertisement that was on the exterior of the Livingston& Son building’s 2nd story.

That sure was a long explanation, but otherwise you wouldn’t understand how the advertising came to be on the inside wall of our building!

Today things aren’t quite as dramatic in our EuroLux gallery. Even all our cats and dogs play nicely together rather than competing with everyone within our fuzzy family. And I’m very relieved that Greg’s other business in the building is The Computer Doctor… NOT a shooting range!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.