Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Blair Fraley Sales Store, Crossnore

If you are visiting the High Country near Banner Elk, stop by this 10,000 square foot thrift shop. Deals abound here and all proceeds go to the children of the Crossnore School.

The start of this gigantic shop was a small sale on the front porch of Crossnore School's founder to raise extra money for the school some 90 years ago. The store is a tribute to the tradition of mountain resourcefulness that established the school in 1913.

Ten years ago when I first moved to this area the shop was a tiny stone building (now the Miracle Grounds Coffee Shop) and things were piled high on tables with barely room to get around in the store. I was a bit put off by the jumble of the place.

Soon after they moved into the new super store and have been there since. It was a custom then to have a huge sale during the first week of each month when all the older items not sold would be moved to the school gym and sold for 50 cents for all items except furniture. It was called a Rag Shakin". People would line up outside the door to get in long before they opened. The first to be in got the best stuff so it was worth it. It was crowded and a lot like the tiny old store with things heaped on long banquet tables with walk ways in between. Since I am used to places like department store basement sales where people would be shoving and pushing each other to get to the merchandise, I was pleasantly surprised at the courteousness of Crossnore. Everyone was kind and polite. All you heard over the din was "Excuse me, pardon me, oh you had that first, I'm sorry I didn't mean to get in your way" Such a sweet difference!

With those days gone, unfortunately, it is much calmer now to shop there. Check the board as you enter for the sales of the day. Most days some department will host a sale for at least 20 percent off. They still do hold special sales the first week of each month where all the items in the store are 50 percent off.

The first floor has men and women's clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture and art along with books and cards. Some clothing is new, donated by local shops when they didn't sell. On the second level you will find fabrics, bedding, children's clothing, household items and seasonal items. Many things are antiques and you can find a great deal. The clothing is more upscale than in most thrift stores and all are reasonably priced.

The shop is located in downtown Crossnore on D.A.R. Drive just below the Crossnore Weaving Museum. Follow the signs off Hwy 221. Hours are 10-5 Mon - Sat, closed Sunday and most holidays. Call 828.733.4228 for more information. Happy shopping!

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