The antiques that draw collectors to Marcheta Dixon’s antique shop are the kind they cannot buy.
Customers usually know what they’re looking for when they come to La Rose on Main, often driving thousands of miles to find the letterman’s jacket given away by their mother or the giant drum a co-worker played in the New Market High School marching band. One man asked for a ladder so he could hoist the drum off the shelf.
But none of the high school sports memorabilia in Dixon’s collection is for sale — no matter how loudly a customer demands to buy or how much they want to pay. The mementos, including Dixon’s own 1957 Alamo yell leader uniform, are a reminder of the county’s athletic heritage.
“I want to make sure the people of Crawfordsville know how important this is,” Dixon said.
Other pieces of Montgomery County history live on in the shop. A barber chair from the Crawford Hotel is on display. After the Crawford faded into history, the chair found its way to The Squire Shop, and when the longtime downtown men’s clothing store went out of business, the owner offered it to Dixon.
A cabinet sitting next to Dixon’s desk was used in the old Elston Bank building. An array of collectibles is displayed in a showcase originally belonging to a Wingate drugstore.
“I’m just proud of Montgomery County and Crawfordsville and bringing people in,” she said.
Dixon’s love of antiques began with glassware. “I was crazy about ruby red glass,” she said.
An auctioneer would set aside pieces for Dixon to buy and the basement of the family’s home on Halfway Road quickly filled with the collection.
Dixon’s husband, Bob, built a barn on their property where Dixon opened her first store, The Marc Antiques, in 1974.
In 1982, the couple purchased Seasons Paint, Wallpaper and Decorating on West Main Street, giving Dixon more space for the antiques. They also sold Benjamin Moore paints, wallpaper, and made draperies, with longtime seamstress Betty Miles doing the sewing.
Three additional buildings were purchased in 2000 and the shop’s name was changed to include Dixon’s middle name. The paint, wallpaper and drapery side of the business was eventually phased out.
Dixon’s annual Christmas shop, which is now run by members of the Philanthropic Educational Organization, donates gift certificates for groceries to families in need.
“If I have learned anything about Marcheta over the last 19 years of friendship it is that she doesn’t do things to receive notoriety,” longtime friend Bret Lewis said. “She quietly does things like the Christmas Shop to benefit the recipients, never looking for a thank you.”