News

Historic buildings in York County being saved by antique business

Written by Paul Kuehnel/The York Daily Record | Aug 9, 2018 9:16 AM
American Daydream Antiques building 2.jpg

From the left, Maria, Brezlyn, 10, Greg and Corbin Koller, 12, are shown on the front porch of their new home, a historic property on East Market Street in Springettsbury Township. The entryway is surrounded with carved wood. The couple hope to open an antique store by Black Friday. (Paul Kuehnel/York Daily Record)

A historic house and barn in Springettsbury Township served as an antique business for over 50 years, but more recently was threatened with demolition.

But now, the Ettline property will become American Daydream Antiques & Miscellanea, with the new owners restoring the site.

The Victorian home, on East Market Street near Locust Grove Road, was built in 1876 by the Hauser family. A railroad runs behind the property and once crossed East Market via a concrete overpass that was torn down several years ago. 

The house and barn that stands next to it were once part of a larger farm that included a grist mill. A brick building next to the home, that was once part of the farm but not part of the recent sale, was most recently The Framers & Framers Gallery.

From 1946 until 2000, the barn and residence were operated as Paul L. Ettline Antiques, according to Ettline's obituary. He retired in 2000 and lived in the home until his death in 2008.  

More recently, the home and barn were to be razed for a discount store, but the business opted to build on another location down the street in 2013.

"It breaks everyone's heart to see it just sitting here not doing anything," said Greg Koller, who closed on the property Aug. 3 with his wife, Maria. The couple looks at the property as a lifelong investment.

Years ago, Greg Koller, a landscaper by trade with an art school background, discussed with his father about buying an antique shop. His father asked: but have you ever sold an antique?

"About five years ago, it all started coming together that we are actually pretty good at selling antiques and understanding what people want and what the future might hold for antiques," Koller said.

By the third year into the antique experiment, the couple was making $2,000 a month selling antiques on eBay, Facebook and Instagram, and they knew their dream could become a full-time business.

"I have been in (an antique) store where I see people cry tears of joy seeing something or telling me a story." This was something missing, Koller said, in his landscape business.

"When someone finds something from their childhood, or younger life, the look in their eyes is something you can't describe," Maria Koller said.

The couple didn't set out seeking properties that were for sale, but picked six "that were our dream properties" and contacted the current owners, Greg Koller said, adding "we wanted to live on the property where we work, and that is what Mr. Ettline did."

"This is just meant to be... for so many reasons that this property couldn't be sold, it can't be knocked down because it's such a beautiful part of Stoney Brook, Hellam, Springettsbury, York County."

The home is a mostly original, sturdy brick structure with deep paneled windows. Original doors, woodwork, and hardware are throughout the three sprawling floors. Two marble and one cast-iron fireplace face from the late 1700s were added to existing fireplaces by Ettline, according to the Kollers. Carved wood trim surrounds the double front entry doors.

The plan for restoration of the home is to keep the character of the original house. Structurally, the house is still very sound. The barn will require work to one wall before the antique business can open inside.

American Daydream Antiques building.jpg

This barn from the 1800s will be the new home of American Daydream Antiques & Miscellanea. It fronts East Market Street. (Photo: Paul Kuehnel, York Daily Record)

The property, surrounded by a wrought-iron fence with brick pillars, will eventually become more visible when trees, cut in half by utility trimmers, are removed.

Eventually the iconic "P" and "E" round metal signs, which stood for Paul L. Ettline Antiques, will be moved from the front of the barn to the sides, and the logo for American Daydream Antiques & Miscellanea will be above the huge picture window that was once a main doorway for the barn.

The couple plans 14-17 vendors for inside the barn, and another part of the barn will be a general store featuring York-made goods. An entryway will feature an interpretive center highlighting the history of the property, York County and interesting people who made the history come alive.

"Vintage is anything you grew up with," Greg Koller said, adding that unlike antique shops that stop around 1970, the couple plans on including newer items.

The plan is to get the barn open for business by Black Friday.

For updated information, see the American Daydream Antiques & Miscellanea Facebook page

This story comes to us through a partnership betwen WITF and The York Daily Record

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