Hudson’s General Store celebrates 25 years, brings back antique show

Date Published: 
June 19, 2015

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Since building Hudson’s General Store 25 years ago, Melody and Richard Hudson have filled the shop with antiques, folk art and good shopping ever since.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Since building Hudson’s General Store 25 years ago, Melody and Richard Hudson have filled the shop with antiques, folk art and good shopping ever since.

After 25 years, a local shop might be considered retro. But Hudson’s General Store is all about the antique. Now, to celebrate 25 years in business, Hudson’s is bringing back its massive outdoor antique sale on Saturday, June 20.

Under the big tent in Clarksville, 30 to 40 dealers from across the East Coast will sell one-of-a-kind treasures from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“People love antique shows, and I think the young people are starting to come back and want retro things,” said owner Melody Hudson.

And this is where people can dive in.

“They can find anything. They can find pewter, clocks, furniture — just about anything in the antique line,” Hudson said.

“[Antiques] are all different. They’re not mass produced,” Hudson said. “You never know what dealer’s gonna bring what.”

There’s excitement in finding the perfect piece or talking with vendors and other collectors.

“We antique dealers call it a disease. We can’t get it out of our system,” Hudson joked.

The twice-annual show grew for 17 years before the Hudsons decided to take a break. But the vendors wanted more.

“The dealers have been begging for it. We thought … we’ll chance it one more time,” Hudson said.

The shop’s regular folk artists will display work on the store’s front porch at Route 26 and Iron’s Lane. Individual vendors will accept various payment options.

Celebrating 25 years

Hudson’s General Store features these items all year ’round, plus gifts, American folk art, porcelain, redware, candles, home-mixed potpourri, teas, candy and greeting cards.

Hudson’s own mother, Anne Bassett, bought and sold antiques her whole life.

“I was raised up in it. My mother was a spotter for about five antique stores. That’s how she made extra money. She had dealers that wanted certain things, and she’d find ’em.”

Hudson grew up loving antiques.

“As a child you’re at auctions, and you see this excitement, and I just grew up with it,” she said.

Hudson did antique shows herself, and then she and her husband, Richard, just decided to open their own store.

They never know what shoppers may be looking for. That’s why they have a little of everything.

“We try to keep local products,” Hudson said.

Local artists make primitive-style furniture, wreaths, hooked and penny rugs, baskets, beeswax candles, decoys and more.

Hudson’s own daughter does Scherenschnitte (paper cutting) and mixes the potpourri.

They also sell American pewter, English soaps and hand-done linens by a couple in New England.

This month, they were reassembling a Christmas display upstairs, so summertime visitors can enjoy a bit of the winter season’s spectacle.

Anyone who looks up won’t be disappointed in the store. And that begins at the front entrance, where a wide mural greets customers. The landscape shows a map-like version of coastal Sussex County, painted in a simplistic style, reminiscent of Rufus Porter.

Hudson said some friends who own a Maryland shop painted the mural about 15 years ago. It subtly shows area history, from the Fenwick Island Lighthouse to a dramatic ocean rescue by the Indian River Life-Saving Station. Landmarks include Blackfoot Town (old Dagsboro), Bethany’s Loop Canal, the Old Blackwater Church and more. Hudson moved to Selbyville in fourth grade, and her husband’s family goes back several generations in Bethany Beach.

Hudson’s General Store is open Thursday through Sunday, with parking on-site. For more information, call (302) 539-8709 or visit www.hudsonsgeneralstore.com.