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.
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.
Business boomed when they advertised their 25% off, stock-reduction sale that began March 1.
“We didn’t expect the sale to go the way it has,” Dan said. “We moved a lot of merchandise in two weeks.”
Most oak table and chair sets are gone, but extra chairs, benches, end tables and cabinets are still available. Also available are boxes of clock parts, kitchen ware, Tiffany table lamps, comic books, decorative street signs, figurines and miscellaneous items. There is a working Wurlitzer calliope, which Osmon picked up in New York.
The first thing customers hear upon entering the store is the ticking of clocks and the occasional bong on the hour. The remainder of Osmon’s clocks were brought down from the attic, started and hung for sale. Dan was amazed that all are working after 43 years in storage.
Customers have stopped by to reminisce and say goodbye.
“It’s interesting to hear what the building was used for,” said Valerie, who listed wrestling matches, wedding receptions, Friday and Saturday night dances in the 1950s, 1960s and early1970s. Halloween parade judging was held there in the 1940s when the parade formed there.
“It’s sad to close, but it has to be done,” Valerie said.
On April 10, two 30-foot semi-trailers will come to pick up the remaining Oak furniture to transport for auction at Mt. Hope. The remainder of the merchandise will be cataloged for online auction by Steve Chupp Auctions. The store will remain open until the cataloging begins. The building will also be put up for online auction and the Durbins anticipate closing the business by the end of the year. Hours now are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, plus 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The store is closed Thursday and Sunday.
More Clyde activities
Exchange Club fundraiser
The Clyde Exchange Club has an April fundraiser underway, based on winning numbers on Ohio Lottery tickets. Participants can buy a ticket for $10 from any Exchange club member or call 419-680-2469.
This is how it works: If the three-digit number on the ticket is drawn during the evening Ohio Pick 3 on Monday or Thursday, the winner will receive $100. If drawn on Saturday, the inner will receive $200. Tickets are good the entire month of April. This gives a person 13 chances to win. The club will keep track of the drawing and notify the winners.
Quartermania on March 25
Quartermania will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at Clyde High School. All proceeds will benefit the music programs in our school district.
Clyde HS Drama Club musical starts March 31
“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown!” will be held at 7 p.m. March 31, April 1 and April 2 in the Clyde High School Auditorium, presented by the CHS Drama Club.
The production includes 26 students. Production director is Crystal Hill; music director is Zach Abraham; production manager is Brian Hill, scenic director is Nicole Laughlin, and tech director is Colby Pocock.
Reserved ticket seating is $10 for adults and $7 for Clyde-Green Springs staff, students, senior citizens and military with reservations being taken through email at [email protected].
Jeanette Liebold Ricker writes about Clyde and Green Springs. Contact her at 419-547-8177 or by email at [email protected].