“I'm pretty sure it was first setup when the hotel was first built,” she says. The hotel was completed in 1880.
The $3,500 piece still has the original “Book-keeper” lettering above one of the windows and is the most expensive item in Robertson's newly opened store, The Pink Verandah.
Tomorrow, the Pink Verandah, at 1208 Main Street, celebrates its grand opening with hourly door prize drawings. They will serve iced tea and lemonade on the veranda.
Next to the Grille on Main, the antique shop features Newberry memorabilia and architectural antiques like the wood counter, as well as furniture, pottery, glassware, coins, advertisement memorabilia, toys, oil paintings, kitchen collectibles, telephones and jewelry.
The Pink Verandah has true antiques at least a hundred years old, retro pieces from the 50's, 60's and 70's, collectibles and reproductions. The items are sold by Robertson and seven other vendors within the store.
Robertson's own connection with the business goes back as far as some of the earliest items in her store.
She grew up in the North Carolina foothills on land her family owned since the 1700's and thus lived among antiques. Her parents also brought in antiques from estate sales, and Robertson would tag along with them and soak in what she could.
But 15 years ago after grad school at Clemson, raising two young children and part time work as a dietician, Robertson looked for work that would allow her time with her children.
She re-entered the world of antiques by selling items at an antique mall. At an antique mall, the setup is much like a consignment shop where sellers do not need to be present for a sale.
The situation worked well for the Newberry resident, who has since sold antiques in Blythewood, Columbia, Little Mountain, Prosperity, Union and Newberry.
Three years ago, Robertson brought all her items to antique malls in Newberry.
“In the last few years, Newberry has become a real Mecca for antiques,” Robertson said. “Suddenly Newberry had the customer traffic because of everything happening downtown.”
Robertson opened The Pink Verandah in May, with her husband Herb. With the veranda out back and the pending restoration of the old Newberry Hotel nearby, the store's location is ideal, she says.
So far, they have had customers from California, Wisconsin and England, and their Web site, www.pinkverandahantiques.com will be up in a few weeks, eliminating travel for out of town customers.
The store has a children's area, a sitting area and is pet friendly.
Robertson says antiques are practical and that many antiques beat the quality of today's pieces sometimes made of veneer.
And they can last much longer.
“I really feel like antiques can fit into any setting,” said Robertson. “They are made of such good quality wood and construction and a lot of times you'll pay less for a really fine, antique piece that's solid wood than you would for a brand new piece of furniture.”
Customers would have to pay a lot to match the wood quality of antique pieces made of Honduras mahogany and heart pine, Robertson says.
“If you tried to use heart pine now-if you could even get it-it would be outrageously priced,” she says.
Call 321-2200 for more information.