It seems to be a rare occurrence when a rundown historical building is restored to its former glory. But that’s exactly what happened to Walters’ General Store, the oldest existing business building in the City of Hesperia.
Earlier this year, antique collectors Christina Otero and Lynette Westfall decided to rent the place, give it an overhaul and turn it into an old-time general store with an updated twist. They named it Vintage Mercantile and stocked it with everything from antique furniture and clothing to handmade crafts, jewelry and textiles.
The store had a soft opening in late June and Otero said an official grand opening is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 17. She believes the public will be in for a big surprise when they see the incredible transformation the building has undergone.
“When Lynette and I decided to do this, we checked out several places,” said Otero, who has lived in Victorville for 26 years. “But something seemed to be calling us to this building and all the negotiations just fell into place.
“We’ve taken out all the walls and the place looks completely different than when the last owner had a shop in here. It’s just beautiful.”
Walters’ General Store was built in 1915 by locals Roy and Laura Walters. It sold food items, toiletries and other necessary items to to locals, as well as motorists who passed by on National Trails Highway.
Otero said although her merchandise is much different from what Walters carried, she and Westfall have worked hard to create a similar ambience to the original business.
“When people walk in here, we want them to feel like they’ve gone back in time,” said Otero. “Our aim is to be a part of the history of Hesperia and honor it, as well.”
According to Otero, one thing her customers will especially love about her store is the affordability of the items. Prices range from $2 for something like a handmade bar of soap to $400 for a piece of antique furniture.
“We try to keep our prices reasonable, especially in this economy,” said Otero. “And everything we bring in here to sell is very well-made. People will always walk away feeling like they got a lot for their money.”
Vintage Mercantile’s grand opening will include live music, an array of food items and giveaways, Otero said.
The store is located at 9461 Hesperia Road. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The store is closed on Sunday.
For more information, call 760-617-7050 or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VintageMercantileHd