What started as an effort to clean up a McGregor eyesore has now become a treasure hunter’s most vivid dream.
Located at 201 N. Maddy St., McGregor, TJ’s Depot is a collection of collectibles, antiques and vintage items – shelves lined with everything from old-fashioned hand blenders to old-fashioned Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls.
Jan and Tim Elledge purchased the property in October 2020, aiming to clean out what was the old McGregor train depot. What they found was an old, unheated building stuffed to the gills with, well, stuff.
“I like a good challenge,” said Jan, who went after cleaning the old depot out, working first to reach the windows so they could have light ... and then weeding out the treasures from the junk.
What remains lines the shelves of the store. The first and second floors of the store have been open for business since Labor Day weekend of this year, with plans to keep the store going until the end of deer-hunting season.
“You can come into a place like this, you can come in 2-3 times and you still haven’t seen everything,” she said. “Most of it came with (the building).”
Much of the first floor is devoted to kitchen items and accessories. A large variety of dishes dot the shelves, but so do old-fashioned mixers, coffee pots and cookie jars. Also on the first floor are old sewing machines, figurines and music boxes. There are dozens of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls (with more, Jan said, stored still and not for sale), along with furniture, vintage license plates and more.
The second floor holds a treasure trove of toys, clocks and motor items. Since the building is currently unheated, Jan said the closing later this fall is inevitable but the store will reopen in the spring.