Watch KFOR Live Interactive Radar

Retired English teacher now teaches local history in a landmark store she bought in Luther

LUTHER, Okla. -- The hand-held items of history have a habit of traveling.

They change hands. They're handed down, and handed out.

"Re-purposed, up-cycled," says Pam Simmons. "Whatever we're calling it these days."

Simmons is new to the business of antiques and collectibles, of dry goods and memories too.

"Stuff," she laughs.

Last spring, she was grading her last batch of high school English papers.

In November, she opened 'The Rustic Farm' in a store front long used to the comings and goings of buying customers.

Pam says, "This was the gathering place for the town."

For more than 80 years of the 20th Century, the Engels family ran a dry goods store at 112 Main Street in Luther.

There are still people who remember coming in for a soda or to sneak a beer, or who recall the vast collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia Mike and Mary Engels had displayed on the walls.

"The front entrance is the same," she says.

The front door bears evidence of all the people who came and went.

The bell wore a deep notch that's still there if you look close.

Simmons says, "You think about all the people who walked in here, who opened that door."

Back in November, this was a long empty retail slot, but Pam had an idea and a barn full of stuff so she raised her hand and answered that long silent bell.

"Me!" she calls out with her hand up. "I like old buildings."

"I love it. I love it."

The front of the Rustic Farm is hers.

She rents the rest out to antiquers and crafters like herself who don't like to let dry goods history die either.

Route 66 tourists have started coming in.

Other vacant spots in this small town have opened too.

Pam Simmons and the Engels never knew on another but they share a single space now, teaching history to a whole new generation of travelers without having to grade a single paper.

The Rustic Farm is located a 112 Main Street in Luther, Oklahoma.

It's open Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information go to Rustic Farm on Facebook.