Wednesday, October 24, 2012
In the early days, settlers rode horses to the local trading post, tying their horse to the post so they could go in and buy, sell or trade. Despite the changing times, some traditions are worth keeping, and LaFayette residents Billy and Sue Fields say they aim to keep the trading post business alive through their Tradin’ Post Antiques and Collectibles store at 904 N. Main Street in their hometown.
The store’s mascot, a cowboy statue, harkens the days of old while welcoming today’s patrons, who can walk in with antiques to trade or check out the booths showcasing various antiques and collectibles for sale. Five rooms in the main store hold merchandise and behind the store is a 4,500-square-foot barn full of furniture, rocking chairs, a piano, movies, saddles, signs and more available for purchase in the five merchant-rented booths contained.
“We trade with folks if it’s an item we normally carry,” said Billy Fields. “And we buy items from patrons. I guess it’s the economy; a lot of people bring in items to sell. We go to auctions to get items we need if we don’t get enough from things people bring in to us.”
He said the store carries antiques, collectibles, furniture, farm equipment like primitive hand tools, firewood and even vehicles.
“We sell several pieces of furniture out of the 1800s,” said Fields. “We have the Hoosier-style kitchen cabinets, several Victorian beds and farm dinner bells. The majority of our stuff is useable furniture.”
He said new items are available for people to purchase weekly.
“We’ve had shoppers from Knoxville, North Carolina, Birmingham and south of Atlanta,” said Fields. “We’ve had people order things from as far away as Long Island, N.Y.”
“You meet all kinds of people,” his wife added. “People like to find stuff from their childhood in the store. Our prices are helpful in these economic times. We try to work out a deal with customers.
“I never knew there was such a demand for antique furniture.”
Her husband works on items that need touching up in the store.
“We are real excited about the Tradin’ Post,” Sue Fields said. “It started out as ‘Hey, let’s open up a store.’ Construction went out and the store was there. It’s like the Lord meant for the Tradin’ Post to happen. He takes care of us.”
The store is not only a reflection of the times, but also of the owners; Billy Fields likes to collect tobacco signs and his wife collects a variety of things.
“If she says that’s ‘sweet’ that means it’s coming home,” said Billy Fields of his wife’s taste. “Then we know it’s time to load it up.”