A Face In The Crowd 

Ted Fridholm is like something out of This Old House. The Minnesota refugee moved here last spring to avoid the unrelenting Northern winters, settling in an 1890s Victorian house in the center of the artsy Williamson County village of Leiper’s Fork. As owner of the packed Dumpster Divers Antiques there (there’s more in storage), he hawks Victorian and pre-World War II hardware, stained glass, mantels, plumbing and even altars and pulpits. Or, as he puts it, “I sell old stuff.” So dedicated to antiquity is Fridholm that he even lived in a town, the whole of which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places—Stillwater, Minn., just east of St. Paul. There, he rented an old bank, using a stock tank for a bathtub. Comfortable, it was not. Coming home in frigid temperatures to a sterile, cold-floored bank building without a kitchen got old. Familiar as he was with this area, because he’d travel here periodically scavenging for stuff, he took a leap and moved. He’s by far the funniest-talking resident of Leiper’s Fork, but then again the village has always been kind to non-natives. His shop blends seamlessly within the eclectic business district of Leiper’s Fork, home to Green’s Grocery, Puckett’s and Backyard Café, among others. His “Dumpster” finds range from old door hinges to more inaccessible pieces like an old built-in bookcase from the Carnegie Library. Reuse is the name of the game. “I sell a lot of old tin ceiling tiles, and I’m not even sure what people do with them,” he says. In the meantime, Fridholm’s just happy not having to wear long johns in September. “I love the weather.”

—By Liz Murray Garrigan


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