December 1, 2023
Jeanette Liebold Ricker

The Erlin Trader, a longtime Clyde business selling antiques, oak and Amish-built furniture, plus bits of this ‘n that, will soon be closing. It is in the former Clyde Armory, a historic brick building built in 1912 for use by the Ohio National Guard, at the corner North Main Street and Washington Avenue, a block south of McPherson Highway.

“Times have changed,” said Valerie Durbin, who owns the store with her husband, Dan. “It’s all different now,” she said noting that most shoppers now prefer painted furniture. Over the years the Durbins enjoyed attending auctions to supplement the store’s inventory.

“We bought anything we thought we could sell,” Dan said.

Valerie noted that most auctions now are online, which they do not do.

Valerie and Dan Durbin stand with granddaughter Annalisa Durbin in the Erlin Trader shop  in Clyde.

The Durbins purchased the business in 1999 from her stepfather, Melvin Osmon, who opened the business in the early 1980s at a nearby location on McPherson Highway.

Osmon tinkered with clocks, which was one of the first items he offered for sale. A couple of years later he expanded his business and purchased the Armory building on North Main Street. From the beginning, the Erlin Trader was noted for its unique, eye-catching pieces of merchandise displayed outside.


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