Saturday, My husband, Christian and I stopped by the Wilson Store in Clear Spring, MD on the way from stocking one of our shelves. I’ve always loved history and this little store has plenty of it! The first time we stumbled across the store, we were fascinated by the items inside, old Fels Naptha soap bars, handmade lye soap, aged cheddar and smoked bologna, Watkins salves and oils, and so much more. My husband was like a kid in a candy store when he saw all of the old fashioned candy lined across the counters as it was on the movie, “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Hanging from the ceiling was a scooter that served as a child’s toy in the 1800s, and there were so many other antique items that, in my lifetime, I’d only seen on a school field trip. When we left the store that first time, we had only moved to the area weeks prior, and we hoped that we’d remember how to get back to that sweet little store.
During that time, Bittersweet Memories had not long before moved upstairs. When we walked up, Patty and Bonnie greeted us with the wonderful fragrance of scented candles burning and beautiful decor from times past. There was such a nostalgia about the place that we knew we had to come back for more history (and candy).
Saturday, Bonnie and Patty were still smiling as they served their customers, although, times are a bit harder for this treasured store these days. Zoning laws have prohibited them from placing advertising on the main street, resulting in a drastic decline in business for this great little store. It’s location, somewhat hidden on an off street, is mildly overshadowed by an ice cream shop and frequently overlooked by those passing by.
Bonnie and Patty, now the owners of both the Wilson Store and Bittersweet Memories, yet not the property in which they rest, are greatly hoping that, somehow, Clear Spring locals will remember the Wilson Store and come back to show patronage to its small, humble store. The reviving of this store is dependent on everyday people, like us, to keep it and its history alive. Remember, it’s the little things that mean a lot.