Antiques shop reopens in Tarboro

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Patti Pittman dust off antiques Friday at Tar River Antiques and Gifts in Tarboro.


Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

TARBORO — An antiques shop in downtown Tarboro has been revived.

“I took care of people. Now I’m doing something I love, which is rescuing things,” Patti Pittman said with a smile and a laugh in her reopened Tar River Antiques and Gifts at 205 N. Main St.

Pittman, a registered nurse, is retired from having owned and operated Heritage Home Health Care. 

Pittman said her mother and some of the ladies in the neighborhood had originally kept the antiques business open before the mother died and the ladies moved away. 

She said she had kept the antiques business closed for years, but she said she now has time to devote to the location.

Entering Tar River Antiques and Gifts takes a person quite a step back in time, as shown by a floor of neatly arranged costume jewelry, furniture, glassware, porcelain, pottery and silver, as well as paintings and pictures.

As for the source of Pittman’s love of age-old items, she credited her father, who was originally from Crisp.

“He loved to collect — and I’m following behind him,” she said. “He collected anything that reminded him of home.”

Pittman grew up in Miami because her father worked in South Florida as a mechanic for what was Pan American World Airways. The family eventually ended up back in the Twin Counties in the Crisp-Macclesfield area.

Pittman worked for a time as a clerk at the health department in Tarboro. She decided to go into nursing and received her education at Nash Community College.

She worked at the hospital in Greenville before eventually going into the home health business in Tarboro.

And over the years, Pittman collected and purchased lots of antiques.

As for whether she is in the antiques and gifts store business for the long haul now, she quipped, “I’m young.”

As for who she is seeking to cater to with her business, she said, “Anybody that loves antiques or loves to collect. Anybody who is just walking down the street and loves to come in.”

Of the reaction of people entering the business, she said, “They love it. They absolutely love it.”

She also is upbeat about downtown Tarboro’s future, saying, “I think it’s positive, very positive.”

Pittman’s efforts are drawing praise from Tina Parker, coordinator of the Main Street revitalization program in downtown Tarboro, and from Susan Freeman, executive director of the Tarboro-Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce.

“She definitely has a great collection, there’s no doubt about that,” Parker said. “And just beyond the collection, Miss Patti herself knows a lot about each of the pieces that she has in there.

“She has done a great job to display ‘em, so it’s very easy to walk in and to be able see what she has.”

Parker emphasized antiques is a niche market, noting, “It brings in sometimes a different clientele than what we see in our general public and downtown.”

She also noted Tar River Antiques and Gifts being close to The Fountains at the Albemarle retirement community.

She said she believes Tar River Antiques and Gifts being open on Saturdays is going to attract out-of-town families of the retirement community members.

“So, it's definitely an addition to Main Street that we are excited about,” she said.

Freeman said she believes Tar River Antiques and Gifts is quite an asset.

“She has cool, quality, unique items in there, antiques that you don’t typically find at your normal antique shop,” Freeman said.

Freeman noted when she entered Tar River Antiques and Gifts, she recalled as a child seeing her grandmother’s items.

“And it brings back memories,” she said.

Tar River Antiques and Gifts is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. The business can be reached at 252-886-3334 and also is on Facebook.