Sharon Thrift Store: Making New History at the Historical Society

Share WithShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Sharon area residents don’t have to put their unwanted items on the curb or in the trash. They can donate it to a local non-profit on High Street.

On a recent Saturday in November, Hana Jenner picked up a carload of donations from a Sharon resident: a maple desk, linens, and boxes of household items. Two children helped empty her car, carrying bags and boxes down the stairs of the Sharon Historical Society. Another volunteer was pricing games and puzzles, and adding them to the well-organized tables and shelves of the thrift shop in the Society’s basement. A shopper was considering a wall decoration for her daughter: a large, black, ceramic bear head, ready to hang.

Hana is a member of the Historical Society. They needed a fundraiser to pay for a new roof. She says, “We have a building to maintain, and we have to pay for heat and air conditioning.”

Hana is also a member of Sustainable Sharon Coalition. “I like to be ‘green’. I have been involved with SSC for a couple of years, and we’ve been working for two years on how to reduce trash. I’d noticed people putting furniture on the side of the road to give away, but the weather often ruins things before anyone takes them. We live in a community where people have a lot of stuff and are generous.” She discussed the idea of a thrift shop with Jean Zaniewski, President of Sharon Historical Society, and they felt it would be a good fit.

Shirley Schofield, longtime Historical Society member, shares, “We used to have a yard sale in the red barn on South Main Street.” When the Historical Society was reborn in 1981, the desire was to someday have a building. In order to raise money, they held the yard sales. Shirley adds, “We started off with a Transportation Fair at Moose Hill – old cars and other modes of transportation on display. We then had craft fairs on the grounds of the Unitarian Church. We had trolley tours of historical sites in Sharon, with a narrator. And we held yard sales.” In 1999, the Sharon Historical Society building on High Street was opened. They lease the space from the town.

“We thought if we start collecting things for two months ahead of time, we could have a thrift shop open a couple of days each week to sell things,” Hana said. Whatever was left would be there for the annual yard sale. After the yard sale last June, anything left was donated to various local organizations. “I was surprised by how many people wanted to donate special things they had been holding on to,” Hana shared.

The board recently voted to keep the thrift store going. It’s important to Hana and Jean that items are not thrown away, if at all possible. If clothing doesn’t sell within a month, it gets put in the textile recycling bins at the Sharon Public Schools. Books that don’t sell are taken to book donation bins. Craft supplies are used during crafting sessions hosted at the Historical Society.

The Sharon Historical Society Thrift Shop at 16 High Street is currently open Thursdays 3pm – 5pm and Saturdays 1pm – 4pm. Donations in good condition can be dropped off during these hours. For large items, pick ups can be arranged. Ideally, donations will find a new home, and bring in much needed revenue to the Sharon Historical Society, whose mission is to promote the research, study, dissemination, publication, and recording of the history of the Town of Sharon, Massachusetts.

Before or after your visit to the thrift shop, be sure to go upstairs and check out the Historical Society main floor. There you can see fascinating historical (early recycling!) items from Sharon’s past. Friendly volunteers can answer questions on subjects dating way back. And we hope newer residents will share their personal insight or story of more recent Sharon history, which we jointly create!

Volunteers are always needed, to help sort and price items. Contact treasuresfromthebasement@hotmail.com

Follow “Sharon Thrift Store” on Facebook for entertaining posts about the many interesting items that come in. Happy donating, and shopping!

By Ellen Bordman