Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Old Towns...

Do you live in or by an "Old Town"?  You know what I mean, it's the historic part of a small town that use to be the center of commerce, there's normally a court house, a few church steeples and hopefully a street lined with thriving independent business'.

I'm lucky in that Kelly Ann's Quilting is located in such a town, Old Town Warrenton.  I've recently had the opportunity to visit the Old Town section of Charlottesville Virginia that has a thriving section that is closed to vehicle traffic and loaded, and I mean loaded with shops and restaurants and people..tons and tons of people.  Just yesterday I was in Old Town Fredericksburg Virginia, and while it was lined with lots of retail shops and some interesting places to eat I was totally surprised to see so many places closed on Mondays.

Having a business in an "old town" I'm always looking for ways to enhance someones visit to "my town" by seeing what others have to offer or how they might go about attracting crowds of people.  Both Old Town Warrenton and Old Town Fredericksburg have on street parking that is some cases is limited to 1 hour and Charlottesville has a closed to traffic downtown area. I know that Warrenton will never close off Main Street to traffic but while shopping yesterday in Fredericksburg I overhead a merchant complaining about the 2 hour parking they have on the street going so far as to saying "they might as well post a sign that says "don't shop here or we'll give you a ticket".  This really got me thinking, are the merchants in my "old town" bitter about the parking?  and ya know what, NO, they are not bitter but we know we have issues but I've never heard a merchant in my town talk like this.  We have one hour parking on Main Street but right behind those buildings are two hour and all day lots and we're happy to direct people to them. 

The other thing, I noticed yesterday was the number of retail and restaurants closed on Monday, I scanned my memory and ya know what, all of the business' in Warrenton are open and so are the restaurants.  Is my old town perfect, no, but I will say we are a welcoming town and happy to see people walking down Main Street and all of the side streets, greeting people with a smile and a warm hello.

I still would love to have the busyness of Charlottesville, the outdoor cafes, the unique shops but then that comes with being a college town so I'll continue to travel to other old towns and see what's going on and then travel back to my old town with a smile knowing that it really is the greatest old town around.  So...tell me, do you have an "old town" that you love?

Until Next Time
Be Kind
Kelly Ann


  1. Hey Kell,
    When I lived in Texas, we had an Old Town Spring and it was great! Loads of shops and places to eat and be entertained. They sponsored festivals and it was so much fun to go there. I took my first decorative painting class at The Painted Pineapple decorative painting shop. Great memories.

    I love Old Town Warrenton, but I am always sad to see cool little shops go under (Sarah Belles, Ivy Basket, The Purple Plum). The rents are so high it is prohibitive for many little guys (like me) to get their feet wet.

    I do love the look and feel of our pretty little town...love when the streets are flag lined on holidays! We are blessed.

    Janet xox

    PS...and let's not forget how lucky we are to have a fabulous quilt shop right here in town!

  2. I live in an "old town". :-) But it wasn't always so. We lived in Prior Lake, a suburb of MPLS, for 33 years. We were in an area of heavy traffic and could barely have our windows open in nice weather due to the traffic nearby. So, I searched in the counties outside the metro and found the little town of Henderson. Most of the buildings are on the National Historical Register, including the City Hall building where I've hosted quilt classes/events. There is lots of community involvement and so many events......Classic Car Cruise in the summer, Sauerkraut Days, Heritage Days and the Hummingbird Hurrah because hummingbirds like this area that is nestled in the Minnesota River Valley. Ilove it out here. There's an empty shop on Main Street that would be perfect for a quilt shop but no time in my life for that right now. I think I would love to visit Old Warrenton. It sounds like a lovely small town, too!


Busy Sunday

Yesterday on Facebook I added a list of things I had planned to do for the day ~ 1. Drive to Shenandoah National Park and take a hik...