Halliday House News

Love Folk Art and Americana? Want to know more about what goes on at Halliday House? Why we do what we do?

Our business came about because of our love for the handcrafted touch that gets imprinted and passed on in every piece of home decor we sell. We thrive on finding beautifully crafted home decor for your home.

Early American Boxes

For centuries Americans have used various methods of storing and protecting their important belongings. The variety of those items would at times dictate how the containers were made. What was at hand and suitable gave variety to creating the type and size of the boxes. For example a primitive box in our SALE collection is made from only 3 pieces of wood: the 4 sides carved from a large tree branch with an added top and a bottom.  Likewise, the double saltbox was created from only one piece of wood and with only crude carving tools.

As the needs of the settlers grew to store documents, so did the functionality and the beauty of their boxes.  Boxes were painted and decorated to enhance the importance of the piece such as can be found in the painted lift-top box and especially in the wallpapered trinket box.  Many of our boxes even show the progression in design and availability of materials such as metal handles, locks, hasps, and keys through the years.

In May, Historic New England, the oldest and largest regional heritage organization in the nation, offered a special day at Cogswell’s Grant in Essex, MA to showcase 148 boxes in the collection of Nina Fletcher Little (1903-1993).  Little lived in the historic home, which is now owned by Historic New England and utilized as a museum.  She authored the book, “Neat and Tidy:  Boxes and their Contents Used in Early American Households”.

Although we 21st century Americans might not need to store documents, recipes, photos, watches, writing tools, stationery, or create special boxes for our spices in the same way; we are still charmed by the look, color, design, textures and the history of these early handcrafted containers.

Antiquing, FUN & SUN

In addition to fun you might learn some old west history too!


These last two weeks have been all about getting ready for the Old West Show. Grass Valley is situated at roughly 2,500 feet elevation in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. This historic northern Gold Country city is dates from the California Gold Rush and is full of history. A perfect setting to have a High End Antique Show.

We are done going through out inventory and selecting things we think might be fun to display. We found some great little bears in honor of our state flag, also paintings, signs (see some of them below), and much more. The truck is packed and ready to go!

Hope to see you there for a fun weekend of browsing, shopping and exploring the history of the Old West.

Gail and Sue

Yankee Girl


A peek into Halliday House at YANKEE GIRL

Early this year, Sue and Gail discussed the idea of leasing space at a small antiques shop.  We were looking for a spot with charm, well managed, and where our inventory would shine.  Applying at Yankee Girl in Petaluma, California was our obvious first choice.  Yankee Girl is owned and managed by Debbie Thea, a person we enjoy, have known for many years and shared a room with at the former Los Altos, California Country Show.  Not only did the shop have charm, but it was located downtown in the most lovely small town of Petaluma (formerly called the Chicken Capital of America). Petaluma is built around the Petaluma River, complete with an old drawbridge.  Many of the downtown buildings are Victorian era and have remained pretty much intact. 

Petaluma Bridge

Petaluma Bridge

Decision in hand, we visited Yankee Girl to see if the more recent Petaluma version was similar to Debbie’s San Anselmo location. Leaving the store to discuss this over lunch; we headed to Della Fattoria for their famous tuna melt piadina.  Hard to be unhappy eating one of those for lunch.  We left there prepared to  check out the availability and the possible move-in timetable for our leased space.  Where might it be located inside the store?  How would the lighting be?  Who would our neighbors be?  Would this be a good business decision?  So many unanswered questions, but full of promise, we moved ahead with our application.

Historic Petaluma

Historic Petaluma

Hearing space was available late summer, Sue and Gail checked out the area to see if our items would shine in it.  And shine they do…especially when the lights are on.  Our association with the owner and the dealers we have met so far has been welcoming and warm.  We use our keys to the shop so that we can enter during off hours and spend the necessary time to create the look we are trying to achieve.  We are pleased with our results and our initial reasons for locating there. 
Come for a  visit, explore the store and the town.  Did we mention the new smart rail goes up to Petaluma from San Rafael several times a day. How cool is that?

Five men with muscles!!!

Bright and early last week five men, two trucks, and a trailer pulled up to the Halliday House barn showroom.  How welcome was that? Five men with muscles!!! Are you kidding? We love the help. Sue and I were prepared and as organized as we could be after all, moving antiques is a delicate matter even when they are large and heavy,

Sue was stationed at the HH saltbox barn and Gail at the newly restored show room. For this stage of the move we intended to bring over the largest pieces of furniture, plus our 11 foot long storage counter cabinet. Also we wanted several stainless steel storage shelf units from old attic storage torn down and reassembled in the new attic storage.

An amazing 90 minutes later, the men and vehicles said goodbye. We were dumbfounded and happy.

QUESTION:  What would two Antiques dealers do with such a quick and easy move into a new place?

ANSWER:  Whip out their iPhones and take pictures – of course!

The Big Move

After many months of renovation, (removing walls, rats, doors and installing all new windows, skylights, a new door, fir floors, and lighting), we are ready to begin THE BIG MOVE.

Sue and I are packing, stacking bins, labeling and organizing for the move. All the while still running a our business here. The magnitude of this move is overwhelming so we decided to tackle one segment at a time.

In three days, our movers will move our 11’ store counter, and the remainder of our larger furniture pieces in addition to our stainless steel storage shelves which will move to our new attic storage space where humans can stand! What a bonus that will be and our heads will be far happier while working there.

Meanwhile, irrigation will be installed so that we can plant a lavender field with assorted varieties around the ancient black walnut tree. Today a trellis is being installed so as to direct people to the actual front door. Painted white it will stand ready for new plantings there as well.

Enjoy the video of our new home!

We will keep posting as we get settled and of course announce our big Gala Event.

2017 New England Studies Series

ALE2017 New England Studies Program

This post can be read in full and is located in our Archives.

The Historic New England Organization is the oldest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in our nation. They bring history to life while preserving the past for everyone interested in exploring the authentic New England experience. Historic New England owns and operates thirty-seven historic sites in five states.  The region’s rich history is shared through their collections, programs, properties, and family stories that document more than four hundred years of life in New England.

They serve the public through five key areas: Historic Properties, Collections, Education Programs, Preservation Services, and Archives and Publications.

This year as a co-owner of Halliday House and due to my ongoing interest in New England homes, gardens, and furnishings I enrolled and attended their 6 day Study Program for 2017. I was delighted to experience the history of how New England houses were formed and how people used materials to make these houses into homes.