BERLIN—In an era of
corporate big box stores, Daniel Williams and his daughter Joanne Richardson
are taking a step back, to the familiarity of the country general store.
Williams said he built
the Three Cedars Country Store by hand in 2004, a curious irony since the
relatively new building looks decades older—at least on the outside. But that
was the idea; it was supposed to have the semblance of antiquity.
Williams said he built
the original store for his wife, Lois, when she retired from Stuart’s Antiques
and wanted a retail space of her own. They stocked the store flea market-style,
with a collection of antiques, hard-to-find products, and one-of-a-kind items,
according to Williams.
For example, there is the
original schoolroom slate board with slate pencils, circa 1800s; a 1920 toy
wagon train with red-railed flatbed and tin horses with moveable legs; antique
milk bottles from local diaries that once existed in Ocean City, Lewes, Del.
and Rehoboth; blue Ball canning jars with rubber gaskets; a case of Ivory soap
bars from 1940; and flour sacks and feed bags from local milling companies.
When Lois died in 2009,
Williams said he closed the store and only considered reopening it because of
urging from his daughter Joanne. Richardson’s family has moved to the area from
North Carolina and she seemed genuinely enthused about reopening the family
store that brought her parents happiness. A second building has been added,
which according to Richardson will allow the original store to stock primarily antique
items while the new building will house mostly reproductions and new items.
The buildings offer lots
of items for bargain hunters to sort through, from inexpensive curios and
gadgets, like battery-operated purse-size dry-erase boards complete with
flashing backlight reminder, to a genuine iron wood-burning stove with oven.
Richardson said she has
selected a collection of both new and used merchandise to provide items and
price ranges for both older and younger customers,
items at very, very low prices.”
The stores were reopened
the second week in July and Richardson said despite being hidden from sight on
the roadway, business is doing well. The stores are nestled on a woody lot at 10436
Georgetown Road, which is located on the opposite side of Friendship Road from
Cathell Road, about one mile from Route 50. The store is so secluded that
Williams and Richardson direct potential customers to their location with bright
red and white wooden “yard sale”
signs nearby along Friendship
For now, the store hours
correspond with a yard sale from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, but Williams
said he anticipated extending the hours as business builds up again. Meanwhile
there is also an online store on Facebook at “Three- Cedars-Country-Store” that
will soon offer many of the items found in the
store, Richardson said.
prices or product
availability call 443-513-1112.