Thursday, July 24, 2014
Sept. 30, 1981, Moultrie News reporter David Scott sat down with local business owner Linda Page to relay the history of her parents’ business to readers.
Twenty-two years before their interview, Linda Page was just six weeks old.
Her father Carl Page had accepted a job as an electrician in Charleston.
Because her family lived in Washington at the time, it meant packing everything they owned into a pickup truck and hooking on two house trailers for the trip to Charleston.
When they reached the Cooper River Bridge, the truck could not pull the trailers over the crest, so they turned around and settled in Mount Pleasant.
A short time later, her father bought a truckload of salvage from a man in Mount Pleasant. He rented an 8-by-10 shed for $20 a month and started selling salvage and repairing electrical appliances.
After moving to and from a variety of old buildings to sell and exchange used furniture, old appliances and machines, the family finally moved into a building on Ben Sawyer Boulevard where Page’s Thieves Market still is today.
In 1981, the antique store was owned by Linda and her brother Michael.
She told reporter Scott that she remember moving from one ragged building to another, always ending up with splinters or nails in her feet.
She said while growing up, the three children would get out of school and report immediately to the store.
“It was a real family business,” she said.
“We had Momma and Daddy, three dirty-faced kids and all sorts of pets running around the store. And anything you can sell, we sold it.”
Carl Page would drive an old bus, which usually ran about 35 mph, up to Pennsylvania and go to a variety of flea markets and salvage lots.
He would buy anything he thought he could repair or sell for a profit.
When he would arrive back in Mount Pleasant, there would be a line of people, mainly old ladies, waiting for the bus.
As the family began unloading the bus, people would get to bidding on the items. Those customers became repeat customers and now other generations of those customers patronize the store today.
Michael told the reporter that one thing that made his mother a good salesperson was that she would price an item and then later raise the price after seeing many customers interested in it. Sometimes she would tell a customer an item had sold even if it had not.
Eight years prior to this story on the front page of the Moultrie News, Carl Page bought a large Seth Thomas Street Clock in Pennsylvania, originally from McGee Museum. It was completely unassembled and he brought it home where Steven Darlington helped to put it together.
The seven-day weight clock has a 25-pound pendulum and a 250-pound weight. It has to be wound once a week. It was moved once when the family changed locations and had to be moved by a crane. In 1981, that clock was valued a $10,000.
(Read more stories from the Moultrie News archives at www.moultrienews.com.)