What appears to be the tiniest shop in town is on the corner of Schiller and Second streets in downtown Hermann. The Wren's Nest*, owned and operated by Ellen and Clyde Waldo, is an extension of their love for antiques and interest in one-of-a-kind items. "Since Clyde and I both love attending sales and auctions, it only seemed natural that we open a store where we can offer a unique place to shop for both visitors and residents," said Ellen.
The Waldos moved to a farm north of Hermann in December of 1993. Both had worked for McDonnell Douglas, Clyde as an engineer for 30 years and Ellen in the Human Resources Department for 27½ years. Since moving to the area, they have spent most of their time enjoying the tranquility of country living, and not much time in town.
However, in August of 2005 that changed when some friends told them that a small property was for sale in Hermann. "We traveled to Hermann to take a look and Clyde and I both were quite taken by its charm. In size and age (circa 1884), the little frame building reminded us of the one-room schoolhouse (the Whiteside school) on our farm, which we restored in the spring of 1990."
Restoring and opening the Wren's Nest got the couple involved with the community. "We've met a lot of nice people," said Ellen. During the restoration, they particularly enjoyed hearing stories of how the building had been used for more than 100 years. Hermann City Administrator Steve Mueller was one who stopped by. He told Clyde that it was the place where he had gotten his first haircut 70 years ago. "So we think it was a barbershop at one time," said Clyde, who has been researching the property.
The run-down building required great effort by both Clyde and Ellen to get it ready to open. "She's the brain, I'm the brawn," said Clyde. "I do the grunt work, she does the pretty stuff." Clyde commented, "It's a girl shop, so we put a bench outside for the fellows to sit on."
The Waldos are history buffs and are particularly interested in Missouri history. Clyde is a Lewis and Clark re-enacter. "Our attending auctions is part of that. We often run across Lewis and Clark related items. In country auctions you find a lot of things. We try to purchase nice things at a reasonable cost to offer at the shop," explained Ellen.
The inventory at the Wren's Nest includes everything from elegant furnishings to china and decorative accents for any décor. Ellen will help customers decorate their 'home nest' using a variety of textures and colors, bright fabrics, kitchen items, and framed wall hangings that are nicely displayed in the shop.
The Wren's Nest is located at 200 Schiller St. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 12:30-2:30, or by chance or appointment. For information call 573-252-4301 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.