The longest-running business in Morrison today is El Mercado, an antique store owned and operated by Linnie Curran since 1968. On March 16th, members of the MHS presented Linnie with a certificate and a complimentary copy of the Morrison calendar created by the Society. A photo of the store’s front porch, courtesy of Mary Jordan, appears in the calendar for the month of October. (Photo: Jamee and Gus Chambers with Linnie, center.)
YourHub reporter Karen Groves was on hand for the presentation, and the moment was captured in the print edition on March 25th, as well as an online version. Linnie shows Karen a few of her wares in photo, right.
Once El Mercado shared Morrison’s main street with several other stores of the antique and vintage persuasion. Even the Morrison Inn once housed an antique emporium. Today El Mercado is one-of-a-kind, harking back to a time in the far-away days of the 1960s-80s, when ladies came to Morrison to shop for treasures and have an elegant luncheon at the Deacon’s Bench Tea Room. Why, on Friday, January 7, 1966, when the Deacon’s Bench was featured prominently in the Rocky Mountain News, the reporter had this to say:
Mention the town of Morrison and women’s faces brighten. The tiny atmospheric town has come to be known as an antiquary’s browsing spot, with several shops offering a wide range of collectors’ trivia (and not so trivia). … Morrison is attracting other interesting businesses—art studios, special effects designers and, most recently, Thee Deacon’s Bench.
In actuality, there was but one art studio (Art Gore Photography) and one special effects designer (Special Effects Co., profiled in Empire magazine in 1964); perhaps it seemed like more. In those days, a visit to “tiny atmospheric” Morrison apparently provided a sure antidote for a slow news day downtown.
Later, on August 27th, 1972, the Denver Post’s Empire Magazine brought models to Morrison and the Deacon’s Bench for a photo shoot. One young lady was even gracefully posed on the remains of Morrison’s old hanging tree! That article featured a hand-drawn map of Morrison’s antique stores, including El Mercado (of course!), Little Bits of Yesterday and Today, Lila’s, Western Trail Antiques, and Around the Corner to Yesterday. All now forgotten except El Mercado.
Speaking of models, that role also appears on Linnie’s extensive resumé, along with clown and bartender, among a host of others. She’s a woman of many stories, great to visit with, and now, celebrated for her long dedication to doing business in Morrison. Thanks, Linnie, and congratulations on 42 years!