This past weekend my husband and I were hit with the antique bug, a periodic affliction that sends us perusing auctions and antique shops. The auction we hit was a dud. But the Waterloo Antiques Mall in Waterloo, WI, was divine. As I told owner Sherry Rehm in an email, I’ve compiled my shopping list!
I also asked Sherry about her building. It’s such a beautifully restored, old structure and I wondered of its history.
Here’s what she has to say:
The 22,000-square-foot building was built in 1909 by the Drew Carrier Company, a manufacturer of dairy barn manure handling equipment. Not the most glamorous, as Sherry says. But, hey, anything dairy is so very Wisconsin.
The Drew Carrier Company was also impressive. According to Sherry, its equipment was a great time saver for farmers and very innovative for its day. Later the company added more dairy equipment to its production, as well as parts for doll buggies and other children’s toys.
In 1923 the Drew Carrier Company sold the building to McKay Nursery, a large, plant nursery in Waterloo. McKay used it for plant storage and makeshift housing for migrant workers.
When Sherry and her husband Bob bought the building in 2003, it had no lighting, heating or cooling systems. She describes it as a “solid building but it needed over 22 windows per floor, restrooms, elevator, interior walls, etc.”
Today, the renovated building offers a 10,000-square-foot showroom for quality, pre-1959 antiques and art from local artists. The lower level is home to the Waterloo Auction House, a monthly auction of consigned pieces. And the third floor provides office space for Bob’s business Badger Hotel Development Company LLC.
Maybe you’d also like to have an office in a great, old building? Sherry says her husband’s business doesn’t need the full third floor and they’re looking to rent out part of that space.
She also says the building has great karma. There you go!