If you are looking for a pig snooter, a calf weaner, cookware like great-grandmother used, or an authentic Hermann souvenir, then Red Barn Antiques is the place to go. But, be prepared to spend some time because you won't believe how much you're going to see. Items hang from the ceiling and walls, and are piled on tables and countertops and on the floor. And if you don't think there is any rhyme or reason to the way things are displayed, think again. The shop is departmentalized, according to Red Barn owner John Wilding, and he knows where just about everything is. "Unless," he says, "someone has picked something up and not returned it to its proper place."
The antique shop, which opened in 1972, is the youngest aspect of the family's business that includes the Red Barn Craft Shop and a photography studio. When macramé was the craze, the Wildings sold jute and beads they displayed in old crocks at the craft shop. After several people seemed more interested in purchasing the crocks than the macramé supplies, a new business got its start.
John and his dad constructed a barn in 1975 to accommodate the antiques business. They purchased a 100-year-old barn about 20 miles from Hermann, marked all of the pieces, dismantled it, and rebuilt it near the craft shop. It houses an enormous collection of country antiques, mostly smalls, with an emphasis on farm and kitchen-related items.
Visitors will find boxes and barrels from general merchandise stores, as well as flour tins and bushel baskets. There is a large selection of lamp components and chimneys. It is a tool collector's bonanza with items dating to the 1700s. The tool area includes almost 100 years of hay knives and features ice-makers' tools from a by-gone trade. A large part of the inventory includes architectural antiques, parts and pieces. If you need something, check here first. A visit to the shop is like a living history lesson.
The Red Barn is located at the end of West Ninth St. It is open year round, Monday through Saturday, from 10-5:30. If the antique barn is locked, someone in the craft shop will gladly open it. For information, call 573-486-5544.