Less Traveled 2012

Ernie Wiggins

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Antique treasures fill the Caroline Collection in Denmark

Posted 7/3/2011 10:32:00 PM

Visitors to The Caroline Collection antique emporium in the historic AT&T Building in Denmark might very well experience sensory overload. Every inch of each of the structure’s three floors – and the space in four other nearby buildings – has been given over to the display of vintage furnishings and ornaments from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

Clocks, portraits, armoires, posted beds, hand-painted lamps, china, statuary and garden items are among the thousands of pieces that have been collected by proprietor Caroline Boyd. Each item bears a lovingly handwritten card describing the piece, its origin and asking price. The elegantly crafted notes harken back to a day when such care was commonplace. They seem perfectly suited for an operation located in a structure on the National Register of Historic Places.

The AT&T Building was built in the 1920s and served as a hub for long-distance calls moving along the East Coast. Denmark’s location made it a prime spot for a switching station for New York-to-Florida calls. In like manner, the building’s location is contributing to the success of Boyd’s enterprise, she said.

Many of Boyd’s customers are day-trippers who drive over from Aiken and Augusta, down from Columbia or up from Charleston. Reviewing notes left in the guest registry, I saw visitors heard about the collection via word-of-mouth (they did not specify if a telephone was used) and through relatives, specifically in-laws.

Other visitors, Boyd said, are out-of-state travelers driving along U.S. 321 or U.S. 78 who see the “Antiques” banner and stop in.

If you’re going:

The Carolina Collection is located in the historic AT&T building, 4659 Carolina Highway, Denmark, at the intersection of U.S. 321 and U.S. 78. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.