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‘Rusty Relics’ now found in 1845 building in Charlemont

  • Kim and Todd Gerry of Charlemont just opened their new antiques and gift shop, Rusty Relics, in Charlemont center, near the Town Hall. Recorder Staff/Diane Broncaccio

  • A glimpse into Rusty Relics, which just opened in Charlemont. Recorder Staff/Diane Broncaccio



Recorder Staff
Thursday, July 20, 2017

CHARLEMONT — There’s very little rust in Rusty Relics, a new antiques and gift shop that opened this month at 159 Main St. (at the intersection of Route 2 and 8A North). But there are plenty of “relics” in this clean, newly refurbished shop that has almost always functioned as a general store.

The building was built in 1845, according to Todd Gerry, who runs the shop with his wife Kim. The Gerrys replaced windows and fixed and repainted the building, which blends antiques (many from local people), local food products, and a seating area for baked goods and beverages.

“This isn’t our main source of income,” said Todd Gerry, a building contractor. “But we’re busy enough because Charlemont is growing. We’re seeing a lot more traffic than we have in the past. We’ve got a lot in town now. Five years ago, we couldn’t buy a pizza in town,” he said.

In 1877, John A. Wells bought the building and sold cloth, boots and about 1,200 barrels of flour per month, according to the town’s bicentennial history by Allan Healy. Until now, the last business here was The Country Store, which closed about five years ago. The building had been vacant until the Gerrys bought and restored it.

Many artifacts — including the glass showcases — are from the original store, say the Gerrys. And the well-stocked penny-candy glass canisters have long been a staple of whatever store has been housed in the building. Todd Gerry believes the glass canisters go back to the 1970s.

“We bought the store from Mike Fornier in December and painted the building, replaced the windows and remodeled one apartment upstairs for an Airbnb,” said Todd Gerry.

Since the Gerrys have outside jobs, Kim is a nurse, Olivia Dubrule has been hired to work there for the summer.

The rear of the shop is set up with a dining area, and the Gerrys are deciding whether to offer baked goods in the winter. “For now, we’re baking chocolate chip cookies and giving them to customers,” said Kim Gerry. “But we’re also selling Shelburne Coffee Roasters’ coffee and teas. We’re still figuring out what’s going to work for us. We wanted to create a space where people could have a cup of coffee and sit and visit.”

Todd Gerry’s mother, Terry Gerry, used to run Windmill Antiques on the Mohawk Trail, so Todd grew up with an interest in antiques. Eventually, his love of antiques and Classic Cars merged with his interest in photography. Gerry started photographing junkyards, rusted cars and restored cars. He sold his photographs at a crafts fair, under the name “Rusty Relics” — which carried over to their shop. Many of these framed photos line the walls. Also, the Gerrys found a photograph of the original Wells Store, now on a wall there as well.

The antiques include many that Todd Gerry had collected over the years.

“Recently, I have been going to estate sales. But now people are calling us,” he said. Recently, the Gerrys acquired an original rolltop desk from the earlier store and a 12-year-old boy came into the shop to negotiate a deal on old glass bottles he had for sale.

The shop is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information is available on Facebook:

/www.facebook.com/rustyrelics159mainst/

And the Gerrys’ phone number is 413-834-8830.