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Friday in Franklin County: Chapin Station

Friday in Franklin

Have you ever found a treasure in the most unsuspecting place? Well, that’s exactly what Chapin Station is!  Tucked into the tiny town (actually unincorporated) of Chapin, you will find this unique shop!  Randy and Holly Coffee are the owners of this diamond in the rough in Franklin County!  So, what is it?  It’s a shop that offers a mix of vintage and new decor, rescued and repurposed furniture, antiques, primitives, chippy, rusty, galvanized, architectural, and industrial for your home!

chapin station 4

How did Chapin Station become?  Holly says it’s been in her blood for a long time.  Growing up she went to garage sales, auctions, and estate sales with her dad!  In an ironic twist, she now takes her kids to sales today!  She began by having a sale in their garage to get rid of her collection from the sales.  That led led to another and before she knew it, two years had passed and she was still having sales!  She then started renting booth spaces at Antiques Iowa in Story City and Calico Hen House in Waterloo!  The opportunity to buy the old DX gas station in Chapin came up and that’s where the big adventure began!  Chapin Station 1

The gas station is considered a piece of history in Chapin and they wanted to preserve it for the community!  They renovated the building and opened in 2013 for occasional monthly sales!  She has learned a lot about the history of Chapin in the time they’ve lived there and owned the building.  She says she that a lot of people are suprised that Chapin (now population 87) was once a thriving community.

They have a lot of photos and history of Chapin throughout the store and also kept some of the history of the building.  The moment you walk in the door, you can see where the old stools sat in front of the gas station counter.  In the middle bay, they kept the old car lift system and the old work bench.  The old bell hangs on the wall, which would ring when someone drove in for gas!  The history doesn’t stop there and if you look in the parking lot, you will also see where the old gas pumps sat.

Chapin Station 2

So, what does she love most about owning her own business?  She loves the hunt for items!  She goes to flea markets, auctions, and estate sales all over looking for good “junk”.  However, the store not only has vintage items from the past, there is a blend of today as well!  She loves the small town atmosphere and the surrounding communities who support the business.  She says the people that she meets and learning how far they travel to her shop makes it all worth the effort!  Most of all, every time someone purchases a vintage item, it helps to preserve some of our past and she hopes they will pass it down to their children and so on!

Chapin Station 3

The Chapin Station is open for occasional monthly sales, so make sure to check out their Facebook page or the local papers to learn the dates they are open!  Their next sale is NEXT WEEK.  They are open Thursday August 18th from 4-7PM, Friday August 19th from 10AM-5PM, and Saturday August 20th from 10AM-3PM.  So, stop by and see them and tell them Katy sent you!  You won’t be disappointed!

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