By Polly Keary, Editor
Fans of shabby chic decor or lovers of antiques have a wider array of selections available to them in Monroe than ever before, with
the opening of Abbey Antiques, a new antique shop now occupying a very old building.
The airy, open interior of the original 1914 St. Mary of the Valley Catholic Church on Hill Street is now home to 16 antique vendors; four of them who moved over from The Golden Mean, an antique store formerly located on Main Street.
Now the stained glass windows cast a soft glow over such unusual objects as the mounted head of a large African Eland, or a collection of the heads and hands of old porcelain dolls.
There are about 3,200 square feet of space in the church building, which was purchased by Virginia Rogers, one of the partners in the Golden Mean. Those square feet are already straining at the seams.
“We have a great variety of items,” said Rob Schab, who is involved in running the store. “There is a guy who just sells antique and historic lights. There’s vintage books. There’s glassware.”
The collection is eclectic, indeed; upon entering the store, one encounters a carven figure of an Indian chief which Schab found in Arizona. Beyond that, one may find a nearly life-size figure of a horse made entirely of silver wire, a well-preserved Victrola record player, a sea chest with the date of its purchase outlined on its lid in nails, or a sequined shirt from the 1920s.
Above the door in front is the figurehead of a woman that might be found on the prow of a ship.
“Her name is Madison Hill,” said Schab. It takes its name from the two streets that intersect next to the church building.
The antique store opened a little more than a week ago, and alreadyits vendor space is full. Some of those vendors left the Golden Mean to move to the store, but many are new to Monroe, said Schab.
The store is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.