Thursday, January 17, 2008

Shopping in St. Francisville....

Alot of people wanted to know about the shops we went to while in St. Francisville this past weekend. They have some really great shops and there are more antique places further up the road as well.

But before I go any further let me say this first....
I feel sorry for small towns.......because I am from one originally and I know how they can struggle economically.
But I LOVE them. They are so romantic and full of history usually.

Many times all they have to rely on is "Tourism."
IF they have "something" to boast about that is.

My hometown did a famous writer by the name of Mark Twain lived in my town for his childhood. So that is what they rely on to keep tourism alive.

Small towns sometimes loose what industry they have had and some little towns won't let other industry into them. Because they don't want to hamper their tourism. Thus ruining their "quaint, small town image."

In the fall of last year, St. Francisville just lost one of its major employers left in the area.
A paper mill.
I believe if my memory serves me correctly....it employee around 500 people. That is a huge economic loss to those people and that area of the Feliciana's. And nothing has come in to help them regain jobs.

Shops come and go in these types of little towns.

I told my husband that "you have to have some DEEP pockets and or "OLD MONEY" to keep your business alive" in these types of situations. Out of all my years of going to St. Francisville....and we have gone there for many years.

Usually every Plantation has some sort of "gift shop" in it as well.
With postcards and items bearing the namesake and possibly the image of the plantation.

The smaller "Antebellum" homes most often don't have a gift shop although they may carry a few items to sell at their registry counters where you check in at.
"Grandmother's Buttons"

Only THREE main stores have remained open that I can recall. And of course......
I like to shop in them all. HA! HA!
Other little stores seem to "come and go."
That is the high price of being in a little town that is dependent on tourism.

This trip we saw a few new stores....and a few new "antique" stores this trip and we went into them but nothing struck our fancy.

But of course.....I like those three the most that I mentioned earlier.

"Grandmother's Buttons" is a one of kind store. They carry unique "handcrafted Antique Button Jewelry" and other various decorative items in their store.You must read the "history" of the store on their website. This explains how they started (I'm sure you can guess by the name huh?) and all those good things.

Now....I don't know about you all....I see photos that people take in shops on their blogs all the time....maybe they know the owners or whatever...but I for one feel very WEIRD taking "photos" in stores.

Especially some of these little stores. Especially this one forsure because I didn't want them to think I was some person coming in to "STEAL" their ideals.
So I didn't even ask to do it.

I DID however.....find some photos on the web and of course again....they show alot of their jewelry on their website so check it.

Victoria Magazine just featured some of their jewelry for sale in their latest issue. These photos are from them.....this will give you some ideal of what they are all about.Something "Red" to wear for Valentines Day. Hummmm.....Lovely pearls. Do you see the buttons?

I didn't buy any jewelry this trip. But I did buy some clearance items "something SHINY" for later. :~)Yes, that is the SAME "Red with Gold" table cover on my table from Christmas.....I kept it on for "Valentines Day." Red and all you know.

Next.....my husband decided to try to "find" this Wildlife Refuge near the river that he wanted to check out (he's a hunter)...called "Cat Island"...Miss Priss and I went along "for the ride" like good girls.....yawn.

UNFORTUNATELY.....we came to a "Y" in the road and he took the wrong turn (no signs were up) and we ended up going on this very LONG and scary ride on a one lane dirt road...ugh....out in the Louisiana backwoods. Not good.
FINALLY he found his way out of that. But we didn't get to see the Wildlife Refuge...much to the JOY of Miss Priss and myself.

After that excursion into the unknown, we were BACK on track for the shops. We hit a few other places....antique stores and such. Then onto our next FAVE store.......
"Hillscrest Gifts"....sorry no photos again. AT this point Miss Priss was "accusing us of looking like 'tourists' because of the camera around our necks." So we backed off of photo taking totally. I did find this cute little "Fleur Des Leis" picture stand in there. I'll show you that later in a photo.
Last but not least AT ALL....
The "Shanty Too"....me and my friends and Miss Priss LOVE this store. They have cute ladies things....clothes, shoes, purses, vintage cotton sleep ware, kids things and nice, nice decorative items. Oh and a candy shop. Yuummm.

After all that we stopped for a late lunch at our FAVORITE cafe.....
"The Magnolia Cafe"...it's soooo good. You have to go there!
I had the "Butterbean and Shrimp soup" and the "Sunday afternoon baked Chicken dinner special" and Miss Priss and DM both had "French Dip sandwiches with fries."

That soup is to DIE for and they don't serve it often so I told them both to get some and they didn't believe me..until they tasted it..so you know what happened. They ATE mine! I should have gotten the BIG BOWL of it. Oh well.

There you have all the scoop on St. Francisville.
IF you have any thoughts or questions.....please let me know.

Natchez
(my other favorite town) is just up the highway from St. Francisville so if you are in the area. TRY to do both.

3 comments:

She'sSewPretty said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today Joyce! I've been enjoying the tour here. I love to visit different parts of our country. One day I'll be able to drive around the U.S. and see all of these wonderful places.

Antique Paperie said...

Hi Joyce! I hear you on the Economics of Small Towns, as I grew up in a little bitty town in Texas. Thankfully, Grand-dad and then Step-dad started early in Business and became well known, so we were always the ones to help out when duty called. I watched alot of people struggle. The town I grew up in had some major big-wigs from Dallas to come in within the past 20 years, and open HUGE factories and the employment rose. I had moved just when it really started flourishing, and started my own family.....But I know it's a struggle in alot of small towns.
On another note, I really enjoyed reading and visiting your blog today! I love that word "Antebellum"...LOVE it! And to read about your shopping trip was fabulous, as I too love to shop in small town "favorites". We don't have 1 single Antique or really nice Gift shop in my little town of La Pine, so I enjoyed reading about your's. My post is getting LONG so I will say thanks for the great read - and I'll talk to you soon my dear!!!
xoxo Sherri

Joyce said...

Sherri,
Write me long comments anytime you want as long as their nice. HA! Works for me and for you!
Thank you!!
Joyce