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Picture found in basement confirms the history of Old Nottoway Antiques

The Old Nottoway Antiques store circa late 1940's early 1950's
The Old Nottoway Antiques store circa late 1940’s early 1950’s

Old Nottoway Antiques situated in the heart of Nottoway Courthouse wasn’t always an antique store. The brick building that is now our antique store has served the county in a variety of ways. It was a general store, an Esso gas station (as seen in the picture above), a Texaco station (as seen in the match box below) and used by the Nottoway Health Department. Bob Carson (J.R. Carson) built the store and owned it, the apartment/garage and the house on the property from 1930 to 1980.

Carson converted the store into the Esso gas station in the late 1940’s/early 1950’s, as seen in the picture above found just recently in the basement of Nottoway Courthouse. The cement block that held the Esso gas station sign is still in the front and to the right (facing the building) of the overhang of the store today.

Unbeknownst to many who shop here there was another antique store, the building in the right of the above picture with the Coca Cola logo, owned by the late Emma and Bob Crane (see photos below). That building was right next door for years which some folks confuse our store with today not realizing that it was torn down in the late 1990’s when the department of transportation constructed the new road system.

Inside  Bob and Emma's Store
Inside Bob and Emma’s Store
Bob and Emma Crane's Antique Store
Bob and Emma Crane’s Antique Store

As a general store, Carson’s store served soldiers of Fort Pickett who once came to the Crystal Lake Campground just down the road in the summers (picture below). Carson sold hardware, grocery items and prepared food like baked chicken. One Crewe resident who once rented the apartment above the garage from Carson next door when she was first married stated that she remembered the chicken being “delicious.”

Crystal Lake Circa1939
Crystal Lake Circa 1939

The front and back of one single book of matches with the Texaco name and history of Nottoway Courthouse exists from the gas station when Carson owned it which we have in our possession (see images below).

Front of Nottoway Courthouse's General Store Matchbook
Front of Nottoway Courthouse’s General Store Matchbook
Back of Nottoway Courthouse's General Store Matchbook
Back of Nottoway Courthouse’s General Store Matchbook

The back explains the historical relevance (General Grant passing through with his army in pursuit of Lee) of the Old Brick Church (see photo below), which sits across the street from Old Nottoway Antiques today.

Old Brick Church in Nottoway Courthouse
Old Brick Church in Nottoway Courthouse
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Who do you call? Glass Busters!

Different light sources cause Vaseline and Milk Glass to display uncanny qualities.

Vaseline Glass Turns Ghostly Green

Under a black light that is. What exactly is Vaseline glass and why is it called such?

Vaseline glass, as it’s termed today, was coined the name because some of the glass color resembled petroleum jelly. Certain companies who made the glass used Uranium to color the glass. The technique of using uranium stopped after World War II when it became harder to get.

Vaseline glass becomes florescent when held under a black light like shown in the picture below taken in Old Nottoway Antiques. The green in the glass is created with special chemicals just as those used in neon lights.

Diana-Green sherbet glass under blacklight
Diana-Green sherbet glass under blacklight

These beautiful green sherbet glasses, a Diana-Green pattern by Federal Glass, are for sale in the store and online in our glassware category. These glasses are more common because they were usually put away and not used as often as the matching plates which were often broken, making them more rare.

Diana-Green Sherbet Glasses by Federal
Diana-Green Sherbet Glasses by Federal

Fire in Milk Glass

Milk glass is usually a silky white and other colors and opaque looking like milk in a bottle. Hence its name. How do you test for true Milk glass? The best test is to hold it up to natural light as shown in the picture below. A ring fire is displayed around the edges which is caused by the iridized salts added into the milk glass formula. The outer edges of the plate in the picture below light up like fire, hence the nickname, fire glass.

The sun's effect on milk glass creates a firey red around the edges of this hand-painted plate.
The sun’s effect on milk glass creates a fire red around the edges of this hand-painted plate.

The green Vaseline glass and hand painted plates are just some glassware items found in Old Nottoway Antiques.

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Modern utility shed yields turn of the century general store items

Antiques from a long gone general store have made a home in Old Nottoway Antiques, at least for a while.

Meat scale from old general store at Martins Corner

The name Martins Corner remains to locals, but the old general store that once stood where West Courthouse Rd and The Falls Rd (Route 49) cross is long gone. Although it is just a memory to those family members who remember the stories of their elders, items used within the store are now in Old Nottoway Antiques.

A local man entered the store a few days ago selling a meat scale and said that he had other items that were once from his family’s general store in a utility shed nearby. We drove only a few miles past our store and Nottoway Courthouse near Martins Corner as the locals call it. The name is no where to be found, but was once an old neighborhood in Nottoway that has long since disappeared. It’s shown on Wikipedia – Martins Corner

What makes owning a brick and mortar store unique is that we get a chance to go into the homes and private properties of the people we meet and buy directly from them. This interaction allows us to purchase unusual items that no one has ever seen before. Of course, you can find similar items, but these particular ones are unique. Once we got to the utility shed and the man opened it up, we bought more of the items he had in relevance to the store and the period.

Antique hand cart circa 1900
Antique hand cart circa 1900

He had an antique handcart circa 1900 and a feed scale with weights.

Feed scale with weights
Feed scale with weights

He had other items, great finds like this 1940’s Taylor Tot stroller/walker with a removable footrest.

1940's Taylor Tot Stroller/Walker
1940’s Taylor Tot Stroller/Walker

There was also old lamps and a large/over-sized woven basket. All of the items are for sale.

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Jayne Glazebrook Warriner’s Cottage Coffee Company

Jayne Warriner's Cottage Coffee Company
Jayne Warriner’s Cottage Coffee Company

How did you start Cottage Coffee Company?

It was a family practice roasting coffee beans with my sister, Cynthia Peyton, from Lake Arrowhead, California. We’ve been drinking her coffee for about 15 or 16 years. I’ve been in Nottoway County for about 14 years now and opened up a gourmet coffee shop in Crewe, which lasted about three years.

I met some friends through that effort and joined under the roof of Old Nottoway Antiques about eight years ago this Oct. I often say our businesses are married, but we are like in laws. The businesses are different entities; we’re not partners. Cottage Coffee Company is just under the roof of Old Nottoway Antiques.

I became known as selling my sister’s gourmet coffee. The coffee is unique. There’s nothing like it. It’s non-bitter, flavorful coffee that you can’t get anywhere else.

What’s the status of Cottage Coffee Company now?

Unfortunately, Cynthia’s husband had a stroke, and we had to take a few years break. However, we’re excited to announce that she is moving lock, stock and coffee roaster to our home state of Virginia. The coffee barn for roasting the beans will be set up in Keysville. We’ll have some of the same flavors and regulars, whole beans and some new ones as well.

Our friends and customers will be happy to hear that we should be up and running and roasting by fall of 2016. We look forward to seeing many of you. This article is the first of many updates to keep you posted as the process progresses. Meanwhile, please stop by Old Nottoway Antiques and ask for a cup of my coffee.

I still brew a mean one!

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A one of a kind painting mysteriously returns home

A painting stored in a mysterious place makes its way back to its origins and the spirit of the man within perseveres…

Rendering of local Tim Drinkwater in 1952 by Ruth Carson
Rendering of local Tim Drinkwater in 1952 by Ruth Carson

Several years ago, a civil war reenactor I was acquainted with came in to our store to sell two civil war prints and a unique painting. I was immediately intrigued by the latter because it was local and just a cool piece of folk art. I stared at it and realized it was signed R. Carson and dated 1952. The name immediately got my attention because Bob and Ruth Carson once owned our store and the property around it between 1931-1981. They eventually sold it at auction.

Even more intrigued, I started looking at the painting in more detail. The rendering includes an older, well-dressed gentleman sitting on a bench in front of a brick building. I noticed the vertical lines of the window frame in the painting, and suddenly it struck me that it was my store!

Old Nottoway Antiques March 2016
Old Nottoway Antiques March 2016

I turned to the seller sharply, eyes wide open. “Where did you get this?”

He stepped back, hearing the intensity in my voice, probably thinking that I was accusing him of stealing it.

“I’m sorry,” I said softening my tone. “I didn’t mean to react like that, but this is a painting of my store.”

Painting of Tim Drinkwater in 1952 in front of store as it appears today in 2016
Painting of Tim Drinkwater in 1952 in front of store as it appears today in 2016

He was just as amazed and bewildered as I. He told me that he got the items out of an old storage room in the area, and had no idea it was my store in the painting. Nevertheless, I bought everything the man had.

After he left, I did more research. I thought at first that R. Carson referred to the Robert (Bob) Carson, who ran the store as a general store for many years. However, I did some further investigation. I crossed the street and talked to Emma Crane, who has since passed on and once owned an antique store here in Nottoway for many years. She explained that Bob Carson never painted and that it was his wife, Ruth, who was the painter.

From locals who have visited the shop since I learned that the man in the painting was known as Tim Drinkwater. I researched his name in the census records. In 1950 he was 82 years old, making him 84 years old in the painting. Well known in the area, he was born in the county in 1868 and spent his career in the city as a butler in a hotel. He returned to Nottoway upon his retirement. As a result, he was always nicely dressed (just as he appears in the painting), and had a saying everyone knew when he opened a door and entered, “Wellllll, people!” He must have meant something to Ruth Carson for her to take the time to paint him.

Recently, I learned that Tim Drinkwater’s head stone is on private property near Crystal Lake, his headstone overturned.

The painting is not for sale and will remain in our store as long as the building is in our possession. Eventually, we plan to donate it to the Nottoway Historical Association. It is the oldest known rendition of our building in existence, and the only piece of Ruth Carson’s work known in the county.

It’s as if Tim Drinkwater came home.

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Historic Garden Week includes Nottoway County in tour – April 30th

Tulip tree in bloom near Old Nottoway Antiques

Each spring, visitors are welcomed to over 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks during The Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week. This 8-day statewide event provides visitors a unique opportunity to see unforgettable gardens at the peak of Virginia’s springtime color, as well as beautiful houses sparkling with over 2,000 flower arrangements created by Garden Club of Virginia members.

This year the tour includes locations in Blackstone, Crewe and Nottoway Court House, right near Old Nottoway Antiques.

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A Note from Mark

Hello, welcome to Old Nottoway Antiques. We are located in the heart of Nottoway County in Southside, VA, about an 1 hour south west of Richmond between the towns of Crewe and Blackstone.

This is the place to shop for antique furniture, glassware, pottery, primitives, jewelry and collectibles.