MAKING THE LANCASTER LOOP

 
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Walking into Consignments@Elginwood Farm in Lancaster, South Carolina felt like stepping inside a sunbeam.  The front window floods the shop with natural morning light bouncing off some of the bottles while traveling directly through others changing colors along the way.  The entire shop is bright and cheery.  Definitely a great beginning to a beautiful day. 

Next we headed to The Raggedy Man in Heath Springs.  As we pulled into the driveway, there was the Raggedy Man himself splitting wood.  As he was ready for a break, he showed us the different types of wood he has split and stacked himself including pecan, hickory and oak.  We inspected some amazing tree rings on the still intact rounds showing not only the age of the tree but weather conditions experienced during its lifetime, including a drought.  He also told us how he managed to bring home an antique claw foot bathtub in a Dodge Colt along with his wife and 3 kids back when they were youngsters.

And then we started hunting for treasures.  First stop, of course, is the porch - home to more bottles than you can shake a stick at – seriously, there are shelves that extend from ceiling to floor along every inch of wall space with milk bottles, soda bottles, canning jars, and every other kind of bottle or jar you can imagine.  Then entering the hallway we find even more bottles and I spy a Brockway “Happy Baby” infant nursing bottle.  In the toy room, we came across – yep, you guessed it – banks.  We went through room after room finding an interesting-looking pewter inkwell and whiskey decanters, china and glassware.  There are quilts, coffee grinders, churns, kitchen utensils, salt and pepper shakers and ice shavers.  There are no booths here, everything is displayed in categories.  If you stop at the fireplace, you’ll find a fireside food warming trivet, pots, andirons and other antique fireside tools.  And then there is the antique candlestick telephone with ringer box that still rings.  Way out of our league but we can always dream. 

We spent most of the morning here and could have stayed even longer, but there were other stops to be made.  We did leave with an Uncle Sam’s 3 Coin Register Bank (because we don’t have enough banks yet) as well as the “Happy Baby” bottle (too cute to pass up, although some folks think the baby is a bit scary) and a Snowdrift jar.  Who knew shortening ever came in a jar?  (The Great One’s ties to Hunt-Wesson were the driving force here as Snowdrift was a Hunt-Wesson Foods product.  According to the soyInfocenter website, Snowdrift was the first commercial all-vegetable-oil shortening.)