Random Stories

Finding Junk with Purpose on U.S. Highway 14

I am a junkie. Or maybe, a junker. Either way, you’re more likely to find me shopping at an antique or junk store than at an upscale gift shop. And when I’m feeling exceptionally brave, you may find me picking up junk from boulevards during city-wide cleanup days.

Last summer, I discovered a place within an hour from home that keeps me hooked on cool junk. Not many people who I know have heard of it so after my most recent visit, I decided to share it with you. They also operate a photography business and yarn store from here.

The store, Junk with Purpose, is located on U.S. Highway 14 in the small town of Walnut Grove, Minnesota. If the town sounds familiar to you, it’s because it is the childhood home of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House book series.

You will find all kinds of neat stuff at Junk with Purpose. They have antique furniture (like the barber cabinet pictured below), home decor, kitchen items (like the rusty old scale pictured up top) and a lot of unique items. It’s fun to walk around and get ideas for how to repurpose old junk.

The store posted these cool blue tins on their Facebook page and within two days, they were mine. I usually navigate toward old kitchen and baking items, vintage jars and glass, wooden crates, and funky containers that I can use in my garden. If you like decorating with funky repurposed things, you’ve got to check out the store’s Facebook page because they post new photos of what they have in the store at least once a week, usually on Thursdays.

Most of the galvanized pieces at the store are outside in the front, right next to the highway.

And more fun stuff…

I picked up these rusty gutters to hang horizontally in my kitchen to display old spice jars and small glassware.

This is an old fan that I love but didn’t buy. Notice the curvy lines. This fan was obviously made before my-finger-got-cut-off-in-the-fan lawsuits were around.

On this same recent trip, I scored a sweet honey jar from an apiary in the Lake Benton, Minnesota area where I live. I’m not sure if the bee farm still exists.

So, if you are planning a trip to the area, you should stop by. Highway 14 is a popular route to Mankato, Minnesota and is an easy alternate route to the Twin Cities.

Speaking of the Minneapolis area, a Twitter friend of mine, Kristin @BCchocolate2, introduced me to Junk Bonanza in Shakopee. Can you say THREE DAYS OF JUNK!? You know where to find me September 13, 14 and 15. If you go, give me a shout on Twitter @RandomSweets or on Instagram.

Junk with Purpose Summer Hours:
Open Tues. – Sat. 10 – 5
phone: 507.859.3333
email: walnutst@redred.com

Be sure to make room in your car before you go!

0 Comments

  1. If you are ever headed west again, you should stop by The Lamberton Main Street Peddler! It’s just 2½ blocks south of Hwy 14, right on Main Street, featuring lots of antiques, repurposed items, etc. My husband & I are the brand new owners (though the business has been in existence for many years), and we’re building an online presence for the first time. You can find us on facebook too!

  2. There are several places all the way to St Peter that look very interesting but it just can’t be done the same day as football….need a “special” trip just for junking 😉

  3. Hi Pam – you are welcome. I am happy to share places I love with my friends. You guys are very smart posting photos each week – the last two trips I’ve taken there were because of your FB pics.

  4. You’re right, mom – it doesn’t seem to work out when we’re traveling to St. Peter mostly because of time. But I think you’ll like it if you get a chance. There’s also a place on their main street called Fond Memories at the Creamery. There’s a small selection of antiques, gifts, and gourmet food items buts it’s mostly scrapbooking stuff. The store is in the old Walnut Grove creamery.

  5. Hi Steve!!! You should stop in there sometime since you live in the area. I think the first I saw them on Facebook was because of Teresa O. Someone mentioned chicken feeders when I bought those “gutters” but I thought maybe they were gutters. I wonder what they are… 🙂

  6. Pam from “junk with purpose”….thank you Staci! We have had an amazing week…follow us on FB! 🙂

  7. Never seem to have time to work in the “Gustie” football game and “junking” on the same day but sure would like to stop at some of these Hwy 14 places on the way to St Peter. Maybe some day I will leave on a Friday and take my time “exploring” on the way.

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