River Street Antique Company to close doors on Sept. 29
The River Street Antique Company, established in 1995 by owners Richard and Sharon Schmidt, will close their doors permanently on Sunday, Sept. 29.
In 1993 Richard and Sharon purchased a carriage house located near the middle school, which they would have partially taken apart and moved to River Street. Later in 1993, the Schmidt’s purchased the brick building where they are currently located at 1500 River Street. The brick building was built in 1896 and was originally a saloon until 1905, when it was converted into a grocery store. In 1922 the building would change businesses again, converting to Grand Union Tea Company, which would ultimately shut down during the Great Depression. After two years of renovations to the building, Richard and Sharon opened River Street Antique Company in 1995.
According to Richard the couple’s favorite memory has been saving those two buildings. “I’d say our proudest accomplishment is saving those two historic buildings,” said Schmidt. “We proved that the city doesn’t need to tear down old buildings, you can re-purpose them and this has been a great spot for our antique shop.”
The River Street Antique Company has served the City of Merrill well in it’s 24 years, bringing unique visitors from not only Wisconsin, but the from around the world. “We have had loyal customers for years,” said Sharon Schmidt. “We get returning visitors from Madison, Milwaukee and such, but we also have had people come in from as far as Japan, Australia and London. And it seems like each time they return to Wisconsin they come to visit our shop.”
“And I feel like we do a service to the community,” added Richard. “When those people from out of town come in we recommend places for them to get a bite to eat or continue shopping. We have been a good addition to the community. We helped the community in maybe just a small way, but we feel like we have contributed.”
As Sharon explains, the time has come for the couple to fully retire from work.
“We’d just like to fully retire so we have more free time. After we close, we are going to rent out both the bottom and top floors and eventually sell the building.”
The antique shop will close their doors for the final time on Sept. 29, however they still have plenty of inventory they would like to see fly off the shelves. “We have been planing this closing for a couple months now,” added Richard. “We have some great bargains and we are trying to clear our inventory. We have some very interesting things available and we are still bringing in new items from our storage, so there is a great opportunity to get some cool stuff at a great deal.”
River Street Antique Company is located at 1500 River Street and is open Friday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more info or to call River Street Antiques, they can be reached at (715) 536-7246.