photography by Crashing Nightingale
One of the things I love is anything unique. What I love even more is if those things that are unique carry history behind it as well. This is what one can find at Phillips General Store & Antiques. The store carries an array of vintage items and rare antiques.
Nestled in the cozy town of Bell Buckle, Tenn, the Phillips General Store & Antiques building comes with it’s own history. The business is owned by Billy Phillips who purchased it from his antique dealer mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Phillips after he graduated high school. The store began its career as a dry goods business in the 1890s. The store operated until the mid-1950s and was closed up until Mr. and Mrs. Albert Phillips purchased it in 1971.
“We bought the building and it’s contents for $750 in 1971. When we opened it back up, it had all the clothing from the original stock. The showcases, rolling ladders and counters are all original to the building,” explains Mr. A. Phillips as he points out the antique clothing displayed around the store.
As a shopper makes their way around the store, one can tell a lot of thought and work is put in displaying all the antiques. Different sections of the store are decorated with similar items or colors. For example, many sections are dedicated to the various holidays. It is easy to find exactly what a buyer would need for any holiday setting or special occasion. Some areas are decorated according to the color of the item. As you maneuver in and out of the different settings you can find yourself admiring antiques that are dedicated to individual colors such as green, red, black or white.
“Billy decorates, no one else is involved. He has travelled around the country working on set designs for gift shows,” states Mr. A. Phillips.
Vintage photos and that have found a new home in the store.
Currently the store is showcasing many items celebrating Halloween. Antique witches, devils, pumpkins, black cats and goblins are the main attraction upon entering the building. It is a Halloween lover’s dream as there are so many vintage and rare items for the spooky holiday. 19th century photographs are mischievously adorned with construction paper cut-out witches hats. Vintage Halloween costumes hang above the displays and show a time when yellow and black were the traditional Halloween colors.
Phillips General Store & Antiques is the kind of place you could lose time in while exploring all the rarities and oddities. Every inch of the store showcases another very cool item that you suddenly find hard to live without. It’s the place where items from long ago have found a new resting place and are waiting to be discovered by you.