PORTER - Leonard and Donna Stone's idea of a vacation is to go "treasure hunting" for antiques.
"We find things at auctions or garage sales or antique shops," Donna Stone said. "You never know where you're going to find a find."
But after accumulating 20 years' worth of "finds," the Stones needed more space for their antiques. The couple opened Stone Creek Antiques in Porter on Dec. 7.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Donna Stone explains one of the antique pieces on display in the kitchen area of Stone Creek Antiques. The building was once a private residence.
Before they started Stone Creek Antiques, the couple had spaces at antique stores in Pipestone and Montevideo.
"We live within five miles of Porter, so it's a good fit for us," Stone said.
Earlier last year, the Stones were having lunch at the cafe in Porter when they learned that Elfriede Groezinger, who owned the house next to the bar, had gone into a nursing home and there was going to be a garage sale. The couple went to the garage sale and then put earnest money down on the house.
"We closed on it the first of October," Donna Stone said. "It's a good time to get started."
Donna Stone said the building was once a bank, a hardware store and a restaurant before becoming a private residence in 1958.
"It was a comfortable little home for her," Donna Stone said about the previous owner.
Donna Stone said she was raised with antiques. Her father assisted at auctions and would always come home with a goodie box.
"It kind of gets in your blood," she said.
For a lack of funds, the Stones went to auctions to buy furniture. Then they also found "fun" things along the way.
"We had to do something with them," Donna Stone said.
When they go anywhere, the Stones always have to stop at an antique shop. Donna Stone said they've also traveled the "World's Longest Garage Sale" on U.S. Highway 127 that stretches from Michigan to Alabama.
Donna Stone said she likes colored glass, primitive items and community items with advertising for the towns, especially the Porter, Canby, Taunton area, so those are the items she looks for when antique hunting.
In the last few months, the Stones have transformed Groezinger's home into a display area for their antiques. Donna Stone said they retained a couple of the rooms the way Elfriede once had them, but some things they've had in other locations finally got sold.
"Because they were finally noticed," Donna Stone said.
Donna Stone said she and Leonard have a mix of items available at their shop, from old photos to Red Wing.
"You have to have an assortment of everyone's interests rather than cater to one," Donna Stone said. "We try to mark things competitively." They have a few items on consignment, she said.