Our admiration of the antique is not admiration of the old, but of the natural.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, and poet
My cousin Janet introduced me to Good Goods (30924 Road 168, Farmersville, CA, 559.594.5765 or 559.280.2498), an antique store comprising a 4,000-square-foot barn, two-story Victorian house, tank house and bunk house spread across two acres outside of Visalia, CA, about eight years ago. Ever since then, whenever my family visits my hometown of Terra Bella and stays with my cousin and her husband Tim, Janet and I make a trip out to Good Goods. We always find unique treasures there.
Romantic Homes (November 2006 issue) published a wonderful feature on Good Goods, so I won’t repeat Sandy and Jim Hall’s enchanted beginnings and their love of antique Americana and re-envisioned vintage furniture (but do read the article). I will mention, however, that they relocated the buildings, some of which were slated to be destroyed, and lovingly restored them on their property. That’s quite a labor of love.
To say Good Goods is off the proverbial beaten path is no exaggeration, which is why I included a map at the end of this entry. If you drive past two huge stone gates set hundreds of feet apart, you’ve missed the store’s only marker, though you can see the buildings on the property. In other words, there is no sign. And there is no website. Jim let me know that they don’t have a computer, either.
All this makes perfect sense. When you step into one of the buildings, you’re in another world and time period that compels you to want to settle in and take your time to admire the many details of the buildings themselves – the punched tin ceilings, beautifully painted hardwood floors sporting patterns of checkerboard and playful spots made with sponges, and creamy tin and lace-embellished window treatments.
Through the years, we have purchased an 1880s walnut dresser with a marble top and matching mirror, a vintage-inspired mannequin and numerous knickknacks, including a 1950s set of coasters and vintage-inspired fruit and vegetable signs hooks. A number of years ago, the Halls made innovative use of the thick planks of wood from a shuttered bowling alley and put them atop industrial bases such as school lockers and commercial-grade bins to make distinctive, beautiful tables. My cousin has one in her kitchen, and it’s the center of activity. Someday, somehow, I’m going to snag one of the remaining tables – when I can find a place in our house to put it.
Sandy, who was on the lawn mower when we visited this past weekend, energetically told us that when the weather turns warm in the spring, she and Jim will be able to refinish furniture currently under seven tents. I have another reason (besides baseball) to look forward to the spring. I hope you do, too.
There are a number of local antique shops in the area, especially in the wonderful farming town of Exeter, that together make for a worthy trip to the Central Valley. One of our favorite places to eat is the Wildflower Café (121 South E. Street, Exeter, 559.592.2656), which serves breakfast, brunch, and sandwich specialties. Be advised to bring a van or truck for the antique and vintage treasures you will find. Definitely bring your vintage-loving friends and make a great weekend of antiquing. There is plenty to see in this part of the state.
You can also correspond with Sandy and Jim at P.O. Box 3607, Visalia, CA 93278. And tell them I sent you down the path to Good Goods.