I didn’t know my grandmothers, but I like to think they would have lived in a home just like Karen and John Stutler’s Turkey Hill Farm Antiques and Uniques. Located down a gravel lane surrounded by fields, 1⁄4 mile south off US 47 on Marshall Road, this gem is easy to find.
The beautiful nine room farmhouse, built in 1856 is the resting place for some of the state’s finest antiques. Additionally the Stutler’s have filled two outbuildings with riches from simpler times. If you like rustic, the garage has a delightful mix of vintage yard and garden pieces, and you may spot old iron wheels or tools arranged just so – just like Grandpa might have left them once Grandma called him to supper. My favorite is the chicken coop, an old block building with a cool feel that makes you think those hens might have been just a bit spoiled back in the day. Inside the coop are treasures “pickers” love – enamelware, old crocks, toolboxes, and a very unusual spigot barrel that sports the Montgomery Ward logo. I like to think it stood in a “monkey” Ward store to provide a bit of cool water to thirsty shoppers. These outbuildings are John and Karen’s nod to the farmhouse’s humble farming origins.
Within the main house, a huge counter serves as the checkout desk and truly looks at home beside the kitchen collections decorating the room. I admired the beauty of an icebox, and Karen reminisced about its origins. It is obvious the Stutler’s take care in what they pick for the shop as nearly every piece I asked about had a story or history which was readily shared.
The rooms downstairs are filled with fine, good pieces: a dining set, a buffet, chairs that are pristine as the day they may have arrived at some farmstead years ago. Many items are local history pieces in themselves, and it is delightful to find a book or photograph with a familiar name upon it.
Up the winding walnut staircase, an open landing provides the visitor a moment to spy all that lies in wait. A cache of college pennants lies beside wellloved books, and an open closet holds dresses from earlier times. There are plenty of chenille bedspreads and quilts that remind me of visits to my country aunt.
I think the visitors to Turkey Hill Farm Antiques and Uniques will take so much more from their visit than the wonderful pieces of history they might purchase. They will feel the spirit the Stutler’s imbue in their labor of love. The fine whisper of history sounds from the rooms that are filled with not only objects, but life. The story is there. Go hear it.
By Sharon Clark Earl, Freelance Writer