County Connection: Wakefield-Scearce Galleries offers a treasure trove of history for sale

04/25/2018 04:51 PM

SHELBYVILLE – The Wakefield-Scearce Galleries in downtown Shelbyville is home to one of the most unique collection of items for sale in the country, and has customers around the world.

The gallery was founded in 1947, and located in the old Science Hill School building which housed a school and dormitory from 1825 to 1939, features many one of a kind Eurpoean antique items, some more than 400 years old.

Wakefield-Scearce floral designer Lisa Curry says many of the items were gathered after World War II when many of the old buildings, damaged in the war, were being demolished.

“After World War II, Mark Scearce made several trips to Great Britain,” Curry said. “He was there while they were scrapping them and actually auctioning off different parts of the buildings like the mantle pieces, the doorways, the door facings, things like that. He had the insight to buy those things, ship them back to little Shelbyville, Kentucky, and turn this old boarding school into a magnificent, each room is like a piece of art.”

One of Curry’s favorite items in the collection is 400 years old.

“We have a door from 1618 that was in a chapel in London,” Curry said. “It’s a hand carved mahogany door with all of the door facing. It’s just a beautiful thing that we couldn’t get reproduced today.”

Curry’s favorite room has a story which dates back to when the building was a school.

“Up on the third floor, those were girls dormitory rooms, several girls etched their names in the glass with diamond rings,” Curry said. “There are four of them that called themselves “The Big Four”, and it’s September 8, 1888, and they list their names. I think that’s pretty cute.”

Wakefield-Scearce features two restaurants on sight, The Science Hill Inn which features southern cuisine and a recently re-opened pub called The Red Lion.

Wakefield-Scearce also features a growing number of special events throughout the year to bring people to the galleries including their annual holiday lights display which runs from mid-November until the end of December.


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