A lifetime love of antiques news enterprisepub.com electricity sources in canada


Stevens’ interest in antiques has blossomed over the years and anyone who knows him will be quick to share that he is the man with numerous properties throughout town that serve as storage for his antiques or for displaying and showcasing them.

“I own the old International implement building, and it is full of antiques,” said Stevens. “I own Keith’s General Store, and the upstairs of that is the old dance hall and skating rink, which I’ve restored. I’m planning on having the downstairs restored into a general store museum. I’ve been collecting stuff for years. And then, I have the building that used to be the old harness shop, and that is where I sell my used furniture out of, and I have the old hardware store, too.”

“I’ve helped restore the old Masonic Hall in Modale and worked on the Mann Country School,” said Stevens. “I will be working on the general store and the newspaper office to try to get them fixed up. I have also helped work on different cemeteries, restoring stones. One summer, I did 130 stones in Magnolia.”

In the lumber yard, which is across the street from his home, he stores many of his antiques, and people can shop for all types of antique furniture that may need some restoring such as parlor tables and kid rockers and fern stands, church pews, dining room tables, commodes, mirrors, barber chairs and heating stoves.

“My prices are pretty reasonable in comparison to what Nebraska Furniture Mart or other furniture stores charge” said Stevens. “The furniture I have for sale is made out of oak or walnut. It’s a good quality and real solid wood. It’s not veneer or plywood like a lot of today’s furniture. That’s why it’s still around, because it’s well built to last forever. I sell all my stuff ‘as is’ and sell it to people who buy the antiques to restore them.”

“I have more retail people that come down to buy stuff for their home,” said Stevens. One dealer would come down from California, buy a whole lot of stuff and ship it piggyback on the railroad. Stevens shared that he has started selling wholesale to out-of-state dealers from California, Oregon, and Colorado, and that they come out with a big truck and buy stuff.

Regarding how his role in the community could help Mondamin prosper, Steven commented. “I am always happy to give tours of my antique collections and restored buildings throughout the community of Mondamin,” said Stevens. “Something nice to see for our community’s future would be to have our town recognized as a tourist attraction.”

“The Spooner family bought the house and lived here for many years,” said Stevens. “In fact, Dwight Spooner was born in this house. They owned it clear up to 1948, and it was sold to the Holton family, and they lived here up until they passed away about 10 years ago.”

People can be more appreciative of being born in modern times when they view the outhouse, in its originality, in the backyard. There is also a corncob shed used for storing corncobs that were used as fuel for their heating stove, as well as a pump that was purchased in 1912.

Inside the home, people will see a variety of antiques dating back to the 1800s, such as an 1880 cook stove with a warming shelf that wraps above a stove pipe, a child’s bathtub, a possum belly kitchen cabinet, and a pie safe. A solid walnut cupboard built around 1880 by Stevens’ great-great-grandparents is on display in the front room.

There is a coal-burning stove dating back to 1880 with majolica tiles and adorned with cupids on the sides, which belonged to the Sabers-Connors family who lived between Mondamin and Little Sioux, as well as a walnut secretary desk, an antique bookcase, and mother of pearl sewing machines. Be sure to check out the first radios in town owned that were owned by J.H. Wallis family, as well as Indian prints, derby hats, and a fainting couch.

People touring the museum will also get a glimpse of weddings past through the display of a wedding dress belonging to Dora Gleason Hansen of Little Sioux, who was married in 1906, and the wedding shadow box containing the marriage certificate and veil of Loretta Wallis Grooms of Mondamin, who was married in 1896.

“Lion heads, fish, and claw feet were quite popular back then,” said Stevens. “I bought this from an antique dealer from Wisner, Neb. The poor people would go buy their wood, and rich people would go buy coal. One nice thing about this is that you would have heat all day and all night. All the lights in this restored house and in my 1904 personal home were kerosene, but I’ve had them wired for electricity.”

Stevens’ restored bedroom includes an old brass bed, a never-before-used 1915 hand-stitched quilt, a traveling trunk, knickers and a matching coat dating to 1920, and a baptismal dress. Other antiques that fill the room include hatpins, jewelry boxes, and an immigrant trunk that crossed the ocean from Europe, containing the belongings of immigrants to the United States.

Other fun historical antiques to view at the museum are photo albums, an antique bible, antique alarm clocks, an 1860 doorbell that still works. There is also a buffet or server with an icebox on the bottom, from which a lid comes off to put a chunk of ice in. According to Stevens, as the ice melts, ice water keeps things cool on both sides.

A 1906 vacuum cleaner, which you have to hand pump to operate, sits along a wall of the home, that has been through two or three additions over time. Outside, visitors will find hitching posts, water tanks, a cast iron fence, and a brick sidewalk made from the bricks of the old school that was torn down. There is also a bell tower that came from a country school east of Mondamin called the Echo School, as well as a gate from the Magnolia cemetery.