Feb. 11, 2010
By Tim Simard
Taft Corners Shopping Center’s newest store offers customers a nostalgic trip into the past.
Observer photo by Tim Simard
Catharine McMaster, owner of Barton’s Memory Lane, stands behind the counter in the store on Tuesday.
Barton’s Memory Lane opened last month, bringing the 17-year-old jewelry and antique business to Williston from Essex Junction. Owner Catharine McMaster said her new location already attracted interested customers unfamiliar with her business.
“For me, this is the perfect place,” McMaster said. “I’m staying here, that’s for certain.”
The store sells vintage jewelry, including precious and semi-precious stones, as well as gold and diamonds. McMaster said people routinely come into her store and sell their antique ornaments, generally family heirlooms they no longer want. McMaster cleans them up and sells them back to the public. Prices for different pieces range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars.
It’s a family business as well. Her son Dan, a schoolteacher in Portland, Maine, attends auctions up and down the New England seacoast to find the best stones and jewelry sets.
“You’d never believe what beautiful pieces we find,” McMaster said.
Barton’s Memory Lane started 17 years ago in Barton when McMaster and her husband opened an antique business while owning a bed and breakfast in town. When McMaster accepted a job as music and choir director for the First Congregational Church in Essex, she moved her store to Essex Junction, where it lasted for about a year.
The location in Five Corners proved difficult for business and she started looking elsewhere. She discovered the empty storefront at Taft Corners and thought it would be a perfect fit. She believes her store complements the other businesses located in the shopping center.
Her location in Williston is smaller than the Essex Junction shop. McMaster said her new store allows her to focus on the jewelry aspect of the business, while keeping a few pieces of antique dinnerware and furniture available.
McMaster said a recent customer summed up her business best the other morning.
“She said to me, ‘What an intimate shopping experience,’” McMaster said. “I think I might use that as a slogan. I just loved that!”
Barton’s Memory Lane is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 673-5086 for more information.