The old wood shed on the west side of Robbins Hunter Museum has come a long way over the years. Cobbled onto the west side of the Avery-Downer House sometime between 1842 and 1875, the shed has had many lives. It’s been, among other things, an antique store, a dormitory, a quilt shop, a restaurant and most recently a clothing store.
Now it’s soon to be a store of fine stationery. Just Write opens on Monday, April 9, showcasing fine papers and stationery, greeting cards, areas for on-site work, including a coffee station.
“We want to create an experiential experience,” says store manager Lindsay Salisbury. “We see that people want to slow down and make connections by returning to letter writing, to discover the lost art of correspondence.”
The space has changed considerably, of course, since its early wood shed days. When the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity bought the house in 1903, they converted the space into a room to use as a dorm. “The fraternity officers lived upstairs, members lived downstairs. None of these rooms were heated,” she noted.
When Robbins Hunter bought the house in 1956, he converted the space into an antique shop. Since Hunter's death in 1979, the room has been home to other ventures. By 2007, it was a reception room for the museum.
More recently, the board decided to lease the space and add handicapped restrooms in the main building. At about the same time, the Counting House was leased to Alfie’s Wholesome Food and the small restaurant operates here still today.
Just Write will also carry items from the museum as it widens its visibility with retail merchandise. “We love the appeal,” Lindsay said. “It’s a perfect location and we’re so grateful to be here.”