BELLVILLE – An imposing local building, which contributed much to the history in the area, is waiting for a new owner.
The structure, with the shape of the letter N, sits along the Clear Fork, just west of the big blue bridge.
It is the former Pumpkin Hollow business, which offered to visitors antiques, ice cream and information on things like vintage teddy bears, sleds, primitive wagons, vintage clothing.
The Coldwell Banker Mattox McCleery realty firm is offering the building. It was formerly a mill, part of a railroad station, and had a storage area for items waiting to be shipped. This storage structure is referred to at the “little house” by Jody Fidler, owner of Pumpkin Hollow, with her husband Joe Lamp.
The “little house” formerly had hooks in the ceiling, so meat carcasses could be hung, said Lamp.
A number of people have come to see the space, since it was listed Oct. 22.
Fidler and Lamp shared the space. Lamp is an electrician, who had offices in the building. Fidler opened the antique and ice cream areas of the business.
The ad placed by the realtor says it’s an “entrepreneur’s dream” and a “unique opportunity.”
The original asking price for the building was $269,900. Now it is $238,000. The auditor’s office says the square footage is 4,509. Another figure put together is 5,389 square feet.
The building was constructed in 1900.
A tour through the building allows a visitor to dream about how the structure was once used.
An office area sits closest to Bell Street. The rooms offering varying antique items snake through the structure. A space for ice cream, offering cones and shakes, sits at the center of the building.
When you get to the rooms on the north side of the building, you can see a trap door that goes down into the basement. Another room to the east has an open space going to a second floor.
Lamp said the idea was that a circular staircase could be built there.
The second floor area is not open to the public, but had been used as storage, Fidler said.
The original owners had planned to reconstruct the upper areas so that rooms could be set up, with the possibility of offering them to overnight visitors.
Fidler said her idea was that a patio area could also have been built, so people could sit outside, enjoy their ice creams and savor the atmosphere of the area.
The bike trail, where the rail line was located, sits just outside the building.
Fidler said people using the bike trail like to come into the building to get their dessert goodies. The ice cream cones were offered in sizes, starting with small ones for kids.
A variety of commercial restaurant equipment is being offered in the sale. These include a deli table, meat slicer, refrigeration, and equipment that was used in the ice cream store.
Several local people shared the space with Fidler, she said.
The structure and property is on .387 acres. There is also a house on the property. This building was once lived in by previous owners. It has been suggested that it could be torn down, offering more parking space.
Fidler said the site is being offered for sale because she and Lamp are planning a move to South Carolina.
Fidler has worked a nurse. She said she does not want to do that anymore, and is probably going to do something new with antiques when she goes to South Carolina.
Being able to go to South Caroline, Fidler sees as an opportunity.
Fidler said when she and her husband purchased the property, they were given information that the site was zoned as industrial. They were granted a variance so that it could be used as a commercial/business site.
The flooring is concrete and wood. There is central air conditioning. Restrooms for men and women are there, and the Richland County Health Department had inspected it so that the space meets regulations.