New shop is on the right side of tracks Lil' Depot offers crafts, a peek at Woodbine's past

November 10, 1995|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

"Downtown" Woodbine is looking up.

A tiny brick building on Woodbine Road by the train tracks has been transformed from an ivy-covered derelict office with broken windows and sagging roof into a craft shop called Lil' Depot.

Owned and operated by two sisters, Dotty Cook and Kerry Liptrap, the shop offers a cheerful step into the past of a crossroads that once was a thriving town.

"It's a busy area and it's a nice community," said Ms. Liptrap of Catonsville. "A lot of people have said they saw the place being fixed up and wanted to stop and see what it was."

Those who have stopped in have welcomed the little shop and brought their friends as well, said Mrs. Cook of Howard County.

Dorothy Fleming of Gillis Falls Road, who stopped to check out the crafts, said she remembered when the building was the old canning factory office. The rundown cannery is several hundred yards behind the little shop along the train tracks.

"I was working at the Woodbine National Bank up the street one day when Grover Harrison brought in a load of sweet corn for the cannery," Ms. Fleming recalled. "He didn't make the turn and his truck went right through the wall into the office."

This was in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Ms. Fleming said. That was when Woodbine had the cannery and the train stopped regularly at the station next door to pick up and drop off passengers on their way to and from Baltimore.

Mrs. Cook's husband, Steve, owns the property, as well as Cook's Fuel and Energy Co. He renovated the building for months, putting in a new floor, roof, walls and windows. Inside, the walls are freshly painted and papered halfway in stripes, bordered with flowers.

"We have all kinds of things -- I wouldn't say we really have a specialty," Ms. Liptrap said of the shop's crafts. "We have our own crafts and also consignment crafts."

A sampling of crafts includes wooden angels, dried flower wreaths, wall hangings, teddy bears, baskets, Christmas decorations, household items such as candles and kitchen towels, and a few antiques, such as a Snoopy lunch box.

"We'll have items for all seasons and holidays and a lot of holiday things we'll keep all year," Ms. Liptrap said.

A wooden sign with a train logo marks the shop at 7749 Woodbine Road. Lil' Depot is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The shop accepts VISA and MasterCard.

Information: 549-9580.

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