Pendleton: An Antiquer's Dream


Story and Photos By AMANDA STEINER

If you were to walk downtown through Pendleton ’s Main street , it might take you back to the past, not only with it’s old-town feel, but with the numerous antique shops lining the sidewalks.

            One of those shops, Burmeister’s Old Town Antiques, is home to an array of rare treasures. Dixie Burmeister, along with her husband Jerry, has been running the shop for four years. Antiquing was a hobby for them until Dixie retired and decided to turn their passion into a business.

            With costume jewelry, collectibles, furniture, dishes, textiles, art and home décor, the store has a lot to offer. “We have a big variety of things,” Dixie explained. “We try to have a little bit of everything to cover a big audience.”

            All of their items in the store come from auctions, garage sales, and individuals. “We make a wanted list and we go find the items,” Dixie said. “Everything is hand-picked. We make sure everything is clean and presentable. Jerry does restoration and we touch up the items but we don’t change things or mess up the furniture because it will take away the value.”

            Next to the white, Victorian wall mirror and the old, jeweled hurricane lamp is an old cash register or a colorful quilt ready to be used again. If you want to start antiquing but don’t know where to start, Dixie says to get something in good condition and to be conservative on prices. “Start collecting something you like. Haggle on the price a little. Have a price in mind and go from there.”

            On down the road from Burmeister’s Old Town Antiques is the Pendleton Heritage Antique Mall, owned by Shirley Willowby for almost 10 years. “We’ve always loved antiques,” Shirley said. “I worked in the museum field for 25 years and this is an outgrowth of that.”

            Offering furniture, household linens, lighting, jewelry and glass china, the Heritage Antique Mall rents space to dealers who furnish their booths. Shirley though, gets the antiques that she sells through estate sales and auctions.

            If you want something unique for your house, antiquing is the way to go. “Here you can buy different items that no one else has,” Shirley said. “You don’t have to be a collector to shop in an antique shop.”

            Some advice for beginning antiquers: “Buy what you like,” Shirley noted. “That’s most important. If you are building a collection then you want to buy the best you can afford. Make sure it’s original, and be sure to comparison shop. But most importantly, buy what you like. It’s about enjoying your collections and your items. To me, it’s enjoying the item and using it.”

Trends in Antiquing


Shabby Chic décor




White painted distressed furniture


Architectural pieces


Costume jewelry


Art pieces


1930’s and 40’s colorful pottery