Unusual shops offer an abundance of gift ideas

Neighbors

November 09, 1995|By Judy Reilly | Judy Reilly,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THIS TIME of year finds many of us making the rounds from shop to shop, looking for the perfect gifts for family and friends, as well as decorations to brighten our homes for the holidays.

Those who live in northwest Carroll are especially lucky to have an abundance of offerings practically within shouting distance of our back doors.

On a leisurely Sunday drive down country roads, I recently discovered the Biglerville Country Store in nearby Biglerville, Pa.

The town is noted for its annual Apple Festival; the country store is an attraction by itself.

Jean Thomas, an octogenarian and an owner of the store, greeted me as I walked in.

"Take your time and look around," she said. "There's so much to see."

That was an understatement. When you visit the store, you won't know what to look at first.

Do you browse at the stationery or yard goods, the corncob pipes and hunting hats or the penny candy? Do you focus on the antique sleds encircling the first floor?

More than 50,000 items line the shelves, floor to ceiling -- it boggles the mind.

"We work hard to find things you don't always see in the malls," said Marion Thomas Harbaugh, Ms. Thomas' sister and another owner of the store.

The store has a hodge-podge of merchandise, from children's books and storybook dolls to women's lingerie and coats. Things are displayed without rhyme or reason, and that's the charm of the place.

You'll find apple peelers next to the Christmas decorations, and walk past bins of nails on your way up the stairs to shop for Pendleton Wool clothing or formal wear.

It's these dressy dresses, wedding gowns and formal attire that the store is noted for, and women travel from miles away to buy the right dress for a special occasion.

I think they come for the atmosphere as well. The formal wear is housed on the third floor of the building, and getting there is an adventure. You climb the wide wooden steps and wander down a long corridor lighted by fringed Tiffany chandeliers.

Rooms off the hallway are stuffed with clothing and decorated with old mannequins dressed like Miss Kitty from the old "Gunsmoke" television series, huge clown shoes, racks that once held harmonicas, and too much else to take in on a first visit.

Ms. Thomas and Mrs. Harbaugh own and operate the store their father built 87 years ago.

The floor that now houses women's clothing once served as a Town Hall that was the site for events such as high school graduations and church meetings.

And the store has had famous shoppers -- first lady Mamie Eisenhower once brought her husband to the store for a visit, and Mrs. Harbaugh will quickly show you the New York Times coverage of the event.

The store is an easy drive from northwest Carroll -- from Gettysburg, take Route 34 north for six miles until you see the store.

You won't miss it -- all the windows are draped with American flags.

Information: (717) 677-7447.

Memories close to home

Closer to home, Honeysuckle Lane, between Keymar and Taneytown, holds its fourth annual "Memories on the Lane" open house Wednesday through Nov. 19. The event is held earlier this year than in previous years, says owner Elisa Bowman, because customers get in the holiday mood even before Thanksgiving.

This year the shop will feature Advent wreaths and candles, live and dried floral arrangements, fabric ornaments, dough ornaments, and other hand-crafted tree ornaments, pottery, and customized fresh boxwood tree centerpieces.

Refreshments and door prizes are offered.

Honeysuckle Lane's extended holiday hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from noon until 4 p.m. The shop is closed Thanksgiving.

Information: 751-1602.

Create a gift

If you're eligible to participate in the events at Taneytown Senior Center, you might want to try your hand at crafting gifts and decorations in classes offered at the center on Roberts Mill Road.

Beginning Monday, and running for six Mondays, you can learn how to arrange flowers using silks, dried flowers and fresh greens.

Classes are taught by Taneytown craftswoman Lori Duncan. Classes last from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Cost is $10 plus supplies.

The center offers additional craft classes Friday mornings at 10 a.m. Learn to make sock monkeys, a gingerbread sleigh and stenciled greeting cards for $3 a class.

Crafts will be featured in the center's holiday bazaar Dec. 1 and 2.

Information: 751-1656.

Nutrition manager needed

Those over 55 note that Taneytown Senior Center has a paid position available for a nutrition site manager. Contact center Director Kitty Devilbiss-Marble for details:

751-1656.

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