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More so than most small towns Wabash, Indiana has discovered its historic past is key to its economic future and some local businesses here take that concept to another level.

“I tell people there's nothing in here anybody needs it's all about want,” says antique shop owner Tom Boyll. “We hope they want something.”

For more than a decade folks who want what they don't need find it at the Crows Nest Antique Mall on Market Street, a hodgepodge of relics from the past just waiting to take up residence in someone's future. The Crows Nest is immense, hallways and walkways and hidden corners and crannies packed with antique everything, from toys to tools, trombones to tea sets.

“It's better than going in and buying new,” says co-owner Melanie Boyll. “They want something that's made a hundred years ago that's gonna last another hundred years.”

Tom and Melanie Boyll own the place, started it ten years ago as a way to market Tom's immense coin collection. He's collected since he was nine then decided to make it a business. And there is big money in old money. This 1794 flowing hair half dollar, the first half dollar minted in the United States, is worth about 65-hundred bucks. Pairing the coin business with an antique mall seemed a natural progression so the Boyll's began renting space to vendors and filling the rest of the store with their own stock of collectibles. And for the most part things have gone smoothly.

“Like all spouses we'll be behind the cash register working,” says Tom, “and we'll be at each other and they'll say 'you guys are married aren't you?'”

Despite any rough patches Tom and Melanie say they've loved running their store, meeting people from all over the country. But retirement is calling and the Crow's Nest is up for sale though the Boyll's say they're in no hurry to sell. And they will miss it when its gone.

“It's fun,” says Tom, “and we've met so many nice people we've got a lot of friends from this store.” “ I wouldn't give it up for anything,” says Melanie. “It's been a great chapter in our lives.”

Eric Olson reporting for Your Story Made Here.

Eric Olson

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