Hundreds expected for antique sale today in Scottville

March 20, 2014
Sally and Jerry Cole

Sally and Jerry Cole

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief. 

SCOTTVILLE — Neil Frick was more than just an antique dealer. He was a historian. While his store at 123 N. Main St. was called Frick’s Old Country Store, it really served more as a museum than a retail outlet. Neil, who died last July at the age 87, loved to collect items that had a story.

Locally, some of those items included the clock that hung on the back wall of Schoenberger’s Market, the neon sign from a downtown hotel and the sign from the area’s first John Deere dealership.

frick_store_scottvilleNeil was a collector. He spent years on the road as a traveling salesman. During that time he developed a love of collecting items that had a story behind them.

Today, those stories will belong to others. While much of the merchandise was packed up and brought down to an auction house in Ann Arbor — where it will be auctioned off next month — some items remained in Scottville and are being sold in a three day sale, beginning today, at Neil’s building.

The sale is expected to bring hundreds of collectors into downtown, which will mean traffic in little Scottville may be a little busy at times and parking will be at a premium. Once the sale is over, the building will be filled with a new collection of antiques for sale and it will have a new name, Cole’s Antique Villa.

Jerry and Sally Cole were good friends with Neil. They have operated their store on West Ludington Avenue in Ludington for 27 years.

They never considered moving their store until they were approached by Neil’s family to appraise the inventory. That’s when it occurred to them that it seemed natural to be in Neil’s building.

“Neil was just such a gentle soul,” Sally says. “He never had an unkind word. He would stop in the store regularly and would love to tell stories.”

“He would always come to the back of the shop to see what I was working on,” Jerry says. “His antiques were a passion.”

The Cole’s plan on opening shop on May 1. The Ludington store will close April 19.

Numbers for the sale be handed out starting at 8 a.m. Thursday. The sale will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

For more on the life of Neil Frick, see the wonderful tribute written about him by Lynn Moore of the Muskegon Chronicle/mlive.com, here.

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