Walking into Emma Jean's General Store in Creagerstown is like taking a step back in time.
Emma Jean Goldberg and her son, Chuck Johnson, had a similar store in Marie, West Virginia, stocked with a variety of antiques and other items.
Originally from Chevy Chase, Johnson taught special education at Springbrook High School in Silver Spring and coached girls basketball at Damascus High School. He retired in 2012.
"A friend of mine told me this place was for sale. Someone else was going to buy it, but that didn't go through and I got it," Johnson said. The property had been foreclosed on, put up for auction and then back on the market, when Johnson bought it for $165,000 in May.
He didn't want to talk about how much it cost to fix up the property, which includes 1,500 square feet of store plus a house built in 1896. A remodeling company worked around the clock, even on weekends, to fix up the place, Johnson said.
The porch deck, flooring, furnaces, water pipes and electrical wiring all needed replacing, and exterior painting restored the property to its proper setting.
The store, at Black's Mill and Creagerstown roads, has antique store furnishings, mannequins and vintage advertising items.
Walking through the store and upstairs, you may see a salesman's small sample Murphy bed; a penny candy case; a seed case; a wooden telephone booth; a baker's rack that folds down to create a table; an antique bank teller's booth; a belt-driven antique butter churn, vintage toys and other items.
Johnson and Goldberg work with Chartreuse & Co. in Buckeystown as well, with much of their larger antique furniture at the Buckeystown location, which has a monthly sale.
Emma Jean's also has soft drinks and snacks and has received its wine and beer license, Johnson said.
"We really want to be part of the community," Johnson said. Once they get established, they want to work with local charities.
On Dec. 13, children may come to the store and take a photo with Santa Claus (aka John Kinnaird) starting at 4:30 p.m. An antique Santa's mailbox will be on hand that can be part of the photo.
"We are still unpacking," Goldberg said. "And we will continue to bring in more antiques."
Johnson said he looks for unusual items. "Everybody wants something no one else has, something different. That's what I look for."
EMMA JEAN’S GENERAL STORE: Antiques, collectibles; beer and wine to come later
8636 Black’s Mill Road, Creagerstown
HOURS: “by chance” Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday