Florence — Quaint, Charming

By Sandy Dale

What makes a dusty old southeast Colorado town into the quaint, charming Antique Mecca that it is?  It didn’t happen overnight.  When oil and coal were discovered in Fremont county, the mining industry flourished. Miners flocked here as well as those hoping to make a better life than they’d had “back east.” They didn’t just throw up shacks to make a buck then move on, they “settled.”  They built buildings that would last with as much style and craftsmanship as they could afford.

But it wasn’t just the bricks and mortar that made Florence what it is. It was the diversity of the people. Merchants, miners, farmers, cattle ranchers, apple growers…Italians, Welsh, Hispanics, Irish, Japanese and the list goes on.  They brought their traditions and their art and culture with them.  Today, we see a bit of that diversity in the antiques, the architecture, and the art of     Florence. From the beautiful European pieces at Willie’s Antiques at the west end of town to the Western art at the east end of town at Blue Heron Gallery and the Native American art at Florence’s newest gallery – Rolling Designs, diversity reigns.

I enjoy the creativity, inventiveness, and diversity that Florence merchants not only present in their products but in their displays and the décor of their individual shops.

Thank goodness, not everyone likes the same things. Maybe antiques are not your cup of tea. Maybe picking is, or creating your own heirlooms. (We call it “recycled” art here.)  Try Salvage, Antiques, Vintage, Etc. on the west end of Main Street. At the east end of Main, check out Virginia’s unique lamp creations at the Antique Warehouse. Or find the bits and pieces you need for that mosaic planter or steampunk lamp at the new flea market.

By now, you probably get my drift.  From one end of Florence to the other, you will find a diverse array of antique styles, treasures, arts and even just plain great junk (often treasure in the eye of the beholder). Come see for yourself.

Don’t miss the Florence Merchants’   Vintage Car Show, Sunday May 21.  Four blocks of vintage cars, door prizes, a valve cover car race, and more…


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