PARKERSBURG -A husband and wife who love local history are turning their passion into a business.
Jeff and Christy Little opened the Parkersburg Antique Mall on Emerson Avenue. The 5,000-square-foot building, formerly the Flower Garden, has been open since early July.
Jeff Little said July 1 was supposed to be the store's grand opening, but the derecho left the place without power.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Jeff and Christy Little, local historians, have opened an antique mall on Emerson Avenue in Parkersburg.
"We got power back July 2," he said.
The Littles are avid historians. They maintain a website, the Parkersburg Nostalgic Gazette at www.parkgaz.com, have authored vintage postcard books of Parkersburg and are both active members of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society.
Christy Little worked for several years as a catalog specialist at the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History.
"I was looking for something new to do," she said.
Jeff Little said the pair rented space in another antique mall and discussed starting their own business.
"One step led to another," he said.
The mall has 11 vendors and the Littles are expanding the back of the store. The mall has a garage that is being renovated and will nearly double the size of the floor space, Christy Little said.
The antique mall's building was built in the 1950s by Bob and Joe Newell, who ran Newell Bros. Brake Service until 1967. The brothers opened the Newell Bros. Gulf station in 1946 when they returned home from World War II.
The station was originally located in the triangle at 36th Street and Emerson Avenue. The Newell brothers built a new building off Emerson Avenue near 40th Street in the mid-1950s.
Bob Newell and his family, which included Mayor Bob Newell, lived in the apartment over the station from 1960 until 1968.
Christy Little asked the mayor if he had any old pictures of the garage to display in the store.
"As someone who loves history, we'd love to have a picture of the old building," she said.
The Parkersburg Antique Mall is open from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Customers have complimented on the variety in the store, Christy Little said. Jeff Little said the mall's inventory changes almost daily.
"Our vendors bring things in and they only last an hour or two in the shop when somebody sees it. Before you know it it is gone," he said.