By Elizabeth Riggs

For Granny’s Boots Antiques owners Deb and Madge Wilson, what began as a leisurely trip to the Southtowns nearly seven years ago ended up as a second antique store.

The mother and daughter team, who collectively refer to themselves as Granny 1 and Granny 2, have been in the antiques business for 50 years. They own their homestead antiques store in Ontario, Canada, and purchased the Springville location in 2010 on a whim.

“We went to Bradford to visit a friend of ours and on the way home we stopped in Great Valley at an antique show there. The friend said, ‘I’ve got some stuff on my website that you might like,’” Deb Wilson remembered.

The first thing they saw was a unique property with a color palate that spoke to them as folk artists.

“This cabin is lime green with a red roof and the inside walls are orange. It’s awesome. We love wild colors. It’s just a perfect place,” Wilson said.

The property also has a 150-year-old barn, which is the site of the antique shop, and the Wilsons built a folk art treehouse maze off of it. The combination of history and whimsy is made for what the Wilsons believe is the perfect site for summer gatherings.

“Once a year we celebrated our opening, having sort of a pioneer weekend in Springville, and we had music and food. I thought if we could do it more than once a year it would be cool because the property is ideal for an outdoor festival. Last year was our first time having six festivals – one a month, April through September,” said Wilson.

This will mark the second year the store will host a full calendar of country gatherings, as the Wilsons call them.

“We call them country gatherings because we don’t want them to be a craft and vendor show,” Wilson said.  “It’s like a country fair in small form, and it’ll grow and include something different every year.”

For now, each gathering has its own distinct theme. April’s event will focus on Earth Day with 15 confirmed vendors offering products ranging from alpaca wool to butter churning, or plantable paper to homemade soaps and sugar scrubs.

“They range from all unique, all homemade and handmade products,” said Wilson.

At every country gathering, the antique store allows a unique non-profit organization to set up a booth and sell their items and promote themselves at no cost.

“The reason we do [the gatherings] is to showcase artisans that wouldn’t otherwise have exposure in the larger market; the four counties surrounding Springville,” said Wilson.

And the key for becoming a vendor at the Granny’s Boots country gatherings is primarily to provide a unique product or service.

“We like to get the community involved. We’re always saying, if you see or know of any artisans that are unusual or do different types of things, we are always looking for unique vendors,” said Wilson.

Wilson also tries to ensure that each event is somewhat educational, and contains at least one demonstration that shows visitors how to perform a craft. Past exhibitors have included everything from butter churning to woven baskets.

April’s event will also feature food on site, when food truck Shish Kabob Heaven will be offering their signature shish kabobs and BBQ cuisine, topped with their signature homemade BBQ sauce.

The themes and dates for the remainder of the country gatherings include: fibers on May 20, gardening on June 10, horse and wagon rides and live music on July 15-16, vintage vehicles on August 19, a fall harvest festival on September 16, and a special Enchanted Meadow Fiber and Folk Festival on October 7 and 8.

Each country gathering is held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the exception of the October event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. There is no admission fee for any of the monthly events.

Granny’s Boots Antiques is located at 1076 Miller Road (Old 219) in Springville and is open every Friday and Saturday. For more information on their shop, or any of the upcoming country gatherings, visit their Facebook page: Granny’s Boots Antiques Home of Grevpode Gallery.