Like Dolly Parton or Helen Mirren, Round Top is dazzlingly well-preserved. But where did it all start? Where does the history of the hamlet begin?
Leave it to newcomer Townsend Provisions to inform us that before Round Top, TX was Round Top, TX it was Townsend, TX.
Yep, Townsend, as in Asa, Stephen, Spencer, John, J.T. William, Nathaniel and Samuel Townsend. An entire set of eight brothers born near the Great Pee Dee River in South Carolina, all of whom made their way to the rolling prairies of Central Texas. With so many fine upstanding Townsends in the area, I guess it just made good sense to go ahead and call the place Townsend.
So when/why/how did Townsend become Round Top? Well, a few years into Townsend’s township someone built the post office and gave it an “odd shaped tower.” The next thing you know the name was changed to Round Top. Seems like there’s bound to be more to the story than that (scandal, payoff, family feud, something…) but that’s the official version and so it’ll be The Crush List version too.
Take a look around Townsend Provisions, one of the latest and most definitely greatest shops in the wonderful place that once had an odd shaped post office tower that we now call Round Top.
Fun, right? Well, that’s just the front space. You’ll also want a peek at the vintage boot room. Especially if you don’t have a pair for antiques show shopping yet.
Quick clarification: For those of you who’ve hurt your ankle by stepping in a snake hole or miscalculating the distance between your bed and the floor or some other unfortunate incident, you may be familiar with a Townsend Boot. They don’t sell those here.
Round Top shoppers have to be careful. We see it all. Every single decor trend imaginable, past, present and future, over and over through the creative eyes and outrageous imaginations and merchandising skills of multiple dealers. It’ll warp you. And make you a little meh about what at the moment the rest of the world is quite thrilled by. Wasps nests? So three shows ago. Macrame? Really, you’re still there?
No one wants to be that guy.
So let’s cast aside our inner know-it-alls and celebrate with clear eyes and full hearts a bunch of the trends that popped up all over the show this fall by looking around the artful Marburger Farm booth of Two Vagabond Vintage. They’re a great example of the ‘next generation’ dealer, offering a perfectly perfect mix of goods in a fun, sophisticated space full of unexpected moments. I’ll call out a few trendy bits as we go, and you can hunt down a few more on your own.
First up, numbered items and repurposed industrial mirrors and wood discs and bedspring art and architectural pipe-type-things and tarnished silver and scales and feathers.
Next up? Funky old phones, well traveled luggage, cowry shell art, seed bags, cots, dress forms, floral frogs, rope, vintage 40’s florals and coconut husk thingies.
But before we go on, let’s take a moment to learn that Ford Motors’ Focus Electric car is made out of all kinds of recycled materials, and in fact, “Wheat straw, coconut husk, and other plant fiber-reinforced plastic are used for vehicle storage bins and interior door panels.” Who knew?
Cubbies, especially hand-labeled cubbies were so big this show. I could do a whole post with the photos I got from various booths. OK, maybe I will.
Ditto cotton stalks, which are apparently the latest in rustic country wedding bouquets. Nice! One of my classic favorites, chippy peely turquoise anything, is back in a big way (if it ever left), and one of my new favorites has got to be the well-worn dinged-up and doodle-etched school desk/work table.
Plaid!!! Sailboats. Not-your-everyday taxidermy. Burlap. Old books with good personality. And lots of fun ephemera. Which, as we knew it would cause that’s who we are, brings us right back around to cubbies and numbered things and feathers.
In this random list of my very favorite things about my very favorite place I’ve tried to capture the area’s special pieces and parts. Some are big deal, some are small gestures, some are legendary and some are just tiny pip and squeak.
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