Ellinwood is known for an array of antique shops, and in the last year a new one has been added, Santa Fe Trail Antiques and Collectibles. Opened last September by Fred Troyer, it features quality pottery, glassware and furniture.
Troyer is already well known in the area, as a partner in Ellinwood Packing which was started thirty five years ago. The antique shop is located on the same lot as the packing plant and meat store.
The son of an Amish father, Troyer grew up in the Hutchison area. Troyer said growing up around Mennonites and Amish gave him an appreciation of leading a simple life.
“I have fond memories. My folks taught me the value of things and taught me how to work. Any more, kids don’ have that privilege,” Troyer commented. “I grew up on the farm as a kid you know, and I am old enough back when I was a kid we lived a simple life. We worked and folks didn’t have a lot of money to do things.
“When I was first going to country school I drove a horse and buggy. I had a mail carrier’s buggy. I drove two and a half miles to school every day. We had a little barn there at the school that we put the horses in,” said Troyer.
“One day I was sick and couldn’t go to school,” Troyer explained. “Some way or another my old Queen got out and made her way to school. Dad had to go down there and get her. That made the Hutchison paper,” said Troyer with a smile.
Visiting Santa Fe Trail Antiques is a fun step into the past. Looking around the shop, one sees: John Deere toys and signs; furniture (both antiques and items made by Troyer); primitives; Precious Moments figurines; Coleman gasoline lamps; and lots of glassware, including Troyer’s personal tooth pick holder collection. Everything is nearly arranged in the new metal building.
Troyer said he arranges things in the shop himself. His wife Karen knows about antiques but is not involved with the store.
“We still have items at home. We have a big collection of Mary Gregory pieces, mainly in the raspberry color,” he added
“I have been doing this for quite a few years...going to auctions and buying from dealers. I just boxed it up and stored it. Probably fifty to sixty percent I had before I opened the store,” said Troyer.
“I started out buying pottery mainly...Shawnee, Roseville and Van Briggle. And, I like primitive items also,” said Troyer.
Troyer likes going to auctions, and has traveled as far as Newton, eastern Kansas and Oklahoma to buy his antiques and collectibles.
“Some of the stuff I buy is not very pretty and my son Brad helps me refurbish it,” he said.
An example of their handy work is taking sewing machine stands and making wooden tops, so they can be used as end tables.
Although Troyer enjoys his antiques and collectibles, it is only a part time endeavor. The shop is open Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Troyer also likes to fish and is looking forward to some fishing time this spring!