Shop for Antiques in Downtown Ringgold, Georgia

July 29, 2014 in Editorials

First Stop: Ringgold Feed & Seed Antiques

Ringgold, Ga., is well known for history, with books filled with facts and stories about its Cherokee heritage, playing a serious part in the Civil War and the great Locomotive Chase. Today, folks come to check out not only the history and museums in the area, but to return and browse the antique and gift shops in downtown Ringgold. The old buildings are kept up, and most look as they did when the town of Ringgold was established and building trade began. Today’s antique stores are very unique, and I think after you read and enjoy some of the photographs and web pages, you too will be visiting Ringgold in the near future.

Feed & Seed Antiques is located at 403 High St., near the train track, in the old Callaway Feed and Seed store, which was in business for 73 years. The cotton gin is still in the building next door and owners Joseph Oliver, (known by all as Oliver) and Gay Crane found the old feed store to be a perfect place for their business. Thus the name was given Ringgold Feed & Seed Antiques. Both Oliver and Gay have had several very successful businesses in Fort Oglethorpe and Chickamauga, Georgia over the last 25 plus years. Oliver said, “We should have been here (Ringgold) a long time ago.

This unique store has filled up since January, till booths are flowing with unique items that fit right in with Gay and Oliver’s vision of having a wide variety of styles throughout its walls. Their vendors specialize in vintage radios of all makes and models to rusty-crusty stuff, to shabby and painted, to retro and a little modern flair. You will have to visit this special store to enjoy these one-of-a-kind items, such as local Civil War artist prints, primitives and industrial pieces as well. Check out the shoeshine chair that came out of a hotel in Dayton, Tenn., as it was there during the Scopes Trial and may have been used by William Jennings Bryan himself.

Oliver and Gay have been friends for years and share a common bond for antiques and when they go picking, it’s not unusual for them to head to the same item. Gay has an eye for different, and Oliver can see when she picks something up she’s already got an idea for re-purposing it. Next thing, it’ll be in some nook or cranny in the store.

Oliver Galleries store was voted BEST Antique Store in North Georgia for three years in a row. Oliver invites you to visit their auction company called Once in a Blue Moon, located at 793 Battlefield Pkwy. The auctions are first and third Thursdays each month. They would love for you to check out their website and like them on Facebook at or .

Let’s head to Trestle Side Antiques

Now we’ll visit Trestle Side Antiques, located on 7839 Nashville St., also called Old Hwy 41, which travels northeast from Tunnel Hill, Ga., and right through Ringgold. The Trestle Side Antiques is located in one of the older but very interesting and beautiful buildings right in the middle of downtown. Owners, John and Andrea LeMay, had no problem making a decision when they checked out the historic building on Nashville Street. John shared that he and Andrea have always loved antiques, and that they travel around the country enjoying and buying what they like. He has always picked and sold occasional items, possibly dreaming that he might have a store some day. When he decided to retire a little early, Andrea gave him a little push when she said this wonderful building was for sale. It had housed two different antique shops over the years, both specializing in fine to elegant type antiques and collectibles. When John purchased the building, he told his wife, “I’ll definitely have to make some changes!” John’s wanted to rearrange to include some areas that he could display and sell things that men enjoyed. Once that was accomplished, he named and opened Trestle Side Antiques.

Both men and women have become repeat customers enjoying everything from tools, train items, old auto collectibles, signage, Civil War collectibles, primitives, fine glass, furniture from quality original and some painted pieces, home accessories and old kitchen ware, as well as very unique items that different dealers have crafted on their own. When you walk up the stairway, you’ll find a number of lamps made from items such as an old electric meter, a skull, and other interesting repurposed items. Another dealer has custom made paper weights and memo holders from golf clubs, making the handle useable as well.

John likes to find one-of-kind items that no one has ever seen before. His dealers have a variety of different booths, from vintage to eclectic, including pillows, rugs, over-sized chairs, old cabinets, and great shelving cabinets. You’ll find collectibles such as lots of old powder tins sold by Avon, Bonami, Palmer’s dressing, and candy tins, old store items, and old toys too.

When you walk in Trestle Side, you may get a feeling it’s a little different, and it is. It’s not everyday that you find a store with a booth where the proceeds from all items in that booth go to charity. John has a booth just for that purpose and it always has great items and the prices are reasonable but firm. The profits from this booth go to help pay for funerals of infant and young children that pass, and to help with the purchase of markers for their graves. John told me that a few of his dealers also have items that proceeds go to help soldiers with PTSD and battered women shelters.

You can’t miss Trestle Side when you’re driving down Nashville Street in Ringgold. Just look for the largest and tallest sign with Antiques written on it, blowing in the wind from the back of John’s red pick up. John invites you to stop in and browse when you come to the car cruise-in the second Saturday of each month through October. The show is growing he said, with antique and classic rides. Be sure to check out Trestle Side Antiques web page and like them on FaceBook as well. and

Next stop: Joy’s United Gifts

Joy’s United Gift Shop is located at 77 Tennessee St., and within walking distance of the other antique, gift, art shops and cafes in downtown Ringgold. Although Joy Thornton is called the owner by the ladies in the store, Joy told me they were all united in anything that needs done in the store, from running the register, rearranging, opening or whatever. She wanted everyone to have the same opportunity and it to be like their own. They all love to work together and they help where they can, but most of all, they all hunt or as lots of us women say, go junking, and looking for special reusable items.

Joy started out in 1998 and has either owned a store or had a booth, selling antiques, accessories, and gifts ever since. Including Joy, there are 10 ladies united to keep you fresh junk coming in every month. That junk will include anything from fine antiques, furniture, china, garden ware, metal items, linens, vintage clothing, primitives, repurposed items, smalls and large treasures, painted selections or pieces you may want to take home and paint. If you’re like me, you will be in your element, to just dig and discover. That’s why they call themselves the “Junking Sisters”, and I like to call it the junking divas treasure world inside their shop. It may not always be perfect, and it certainly won’t have a lot of froo froo, but there will always be plenty to prowl and dig through and you’ll be certain to find some goodies you just have to take home.

Joy and the ladies like to meet you, and if you check their Facebook page where they post often and you see something that interests you, give them a call. They have customers who purchase right over the phone. Joy’s United Gifts will hold your item for pick up if you choose to purchase this way.

Joy and the girls will be getting ready for the great Ringgold Junk Market coming up October 10-11. Joy Thornton helped start this annual market, but all the downtown began to join in the fun. Now the Ringgold downtown partners all work together with most all stores running sales and even individuals bring their stuff to town to set up for this market.

Be sure to like Joy’s United Gift Shop on face book at and call Joy if you want more information about the Ringgold Junk Market coming in October.

Jog on down to Keeping Treasures Alive

Last on our list for downtown antique shops is Keeping Treasures Alive located at 7567 Nashville St., and it too is within walking distance of the other shops and eateries downtown. In this cozy little shop, you’ll meet Joy Pfeifer who loves anything old and especially if it has some history with it. Joy likes to find those items that there’s only going to be one of, like the set of crystal that was used during President Nixon’s inauguration. The gentleman that had the set worked during the inauguration time and acquired the set which has a crystal pitcher, eight tumblers and a couple of other serving pieces, all having the seal on them making them authentic. Joy happened to be friends with the gentleman’s daughter, and when he passed, she was able to purchase them through the estate sale.

Joy and her husband have a great area for the man in your life with tools, saws, signs, power tools, race car collectibles, and too much to mention. Her shop is small but laid out well with four rooms of wall-to-wall collections from smalls to painted furniture and repurposed items, old school pieces, unique lamps, old bowls, kitchen glassware, books, & jewelry. Joy showed me a late 1800s churn that with a little TLC, could probably work again. You’ll find aluminum ware, canning items, old stone jugs and bowls and much more, all waiting for your treasure hunt at Keeping Treasures Alive in downtown Ringgold. Joy enjoys her Facebook page as well, and invites you to like her at .

Just remember you’ll probably need a full day to check all four of these great antique shops in downtown Ringgold. Check out their ads in The Busy Bee and their web pages or face book business pages. They all invite you to make them your anytime get away fun and play day.

by Maxine B. Jones, Ocoee, Tennessee

ringgold joys united