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Secondhand shop opens in Monkton

MONKTON RESIDENT NINA Badger recently opened a new secondhand store in the former Monkton Town Hall building. She plans to sell a variety of gently-used items, as well as rent out space for local artisans to sell their wares.  Independent photo/Marin Howell

MONKTON — Ever since Monkton’s municipal operations relocated to the new town office building in 2021, the former Monkton Town Hall at 280 Monkton Ridge Road has sat largely devoid of the hustle and bustle that once filled it. 

Now, the historic building is bustling once more. 

Monkton resident Nina Badger has transformed the interior of the former town hall into “Used to Be Someone’s,” a secondhand store she says has something for everyone. 

Badger officially opened the shop June 15 and plans to sell a variety of gently-used items, from home décor to children’s toys.  

“It’s a little bit of everything and surprisingly unique things,” Badger said of the store’s offerings. 

THE NEW SECONDHAND store called Used to Be Someone’s fills the former Monkton town hall with affordable treasures collected by proprietor Nina Badger over the years.
Independent photo/Marin Howell

After the new town office building was completed a few years ago, Badger and other Monkton residents began brainstorming ideas for what to do with the historic structure, which was built in 1859 and added to the National Historic Register in the 1970s. The Monkton Museum and Historical Society had considered purchasing the building to convert into a museum, though that purchase proved to be nonviable.

Monkton residents ultimately voted to sell the building on Town Meeting Day in 2023, 57-33, after the sales agreement was amended to include that the future buyer maintain the building’s exterior in accordance with the national historic preservation standards.

Badger’s partner and fellow Monkton resident Bob Wahl later purchased the building. Wahl had in 2022 bought the former Russell Memorial Library building across the street — the structure’s water and sewer connections are tied up with that of the old town hall building. 

Badger said she’d considered helping start a secondhand store in the former library, but limited space and other extenuating circumstances upended that idea. When Wahl purchased the old town hall building, it proved to be the spot Badger had long been looking for. 

“I’ve been wanting to do a secondhand shop for over 25 years, maybe even longer,” Badger said. 

In the meantime, she’s acquired a variety of experience from other ventures, including running the former ND’s bar and tavern in Bristol; working at the Bobcat Café; driving a school bus for 15 years; and staging houses for real estate agents. 

Some of the pieces currently for sale at the shop are items Badger has accumulated for staging. Other merchandise has come from donations and a collection Badger has spent years building. 

“Throughout the years I’ve collected a lot of unique stuff,” Badger said. “I like to have something that somebody else doesn’t have.” 

Badger plans to sell a variety of furniture, artwork, antiques, children’s items and men’s and women’s clothing, along with several other items. She said there will be new pieces for customers to peruse each time they stop by. 

“I believe there’s a little bit of everything for everybody,” she said. 

In addition to offering secondhand items, Badger also plans to rent out space at the shop for Monkton artisans to sell their wares at a low monthly fee. So far, customers can find handmade rolling pins, walking sticks, earrings and other items created by local vendors at the shop. 

She also plans to train a couple of local retirees to work at the shop part-time. 

“I want to give back to the community by allowing them to hopefully and helpfully earn their own money,” Badger said. 

Prices for new, handmade items for sale currently range from around $5-$60, and Badger said she plans to keep prices reasonable for the secondhand items she sells. 

Once she’s settled in, Badger plans to begin accepting donated items. Eventually, she’d like to donate a portion of the profit she makes to Monkton’s food pantry.

THE NEW SECONDHAND store called Used to Be Someone’s fills the former Monkton town hall with affordable treasures collected by proprietor Nina Badger over the years.
Independent photo/Marin Howell

 

LOCAL HISTORY

A portion of the building has also been turned into a space for the Monkton Museum and Historical Society, which community members are encouraged to visit whenever the shop is open. 

“Monkton Museum & Historical Society is excited to occupy the vault space of Nina’s shop. They feel right at home in the Historic 1859 Monkton Town Hall,” MM&HS member Robin Hopps said of the space. “While it is not a museum per se, the room will serve as a comfortable sitting area to read their publications — some with QR codes — and notebooks on various historic Monkton topics.” 

Hopps said one corner of the space will be devoted to a children’s space, filled with old-fashioned wooden toys, new stuffed animals, puzzles, a small rocking horse and games. 

“The walls will have maps of Monkton from centuries ago, plus Then & Now images of familiar local places,” Hopps said. “A member of MM&HS will staff the vault on occasion. The actual MM&HS Collection will be displayed in another location at a later date.” 

Badger plans to be open Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. 

She said the response from the community has been positive and that she’s thankful for its support. Badger credited her sister and fellow Monkton resident Valerie Mullin, as well as other friends, family and neighbors in helping her transform the secondhand shop from an idea into a reality over the past several months. 

“Without the help that I had from individual people, even if it was only for an hour, it wouldn’t have happened, or it would’ve happened but a year from now,” Badger said. “I want to thank everybody that’s helped me. And the community too, for saying when I first thought of (the store), they responded that it was a great idea. It was encouraging that people were going to support doing something with the building.” 

The longtime Monkton resident said she hopes to support that community in turn through her work at the shop. 

“I want to give back to the community that helped build me,” she said. 

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