Couple returns to open Altona antiques/hardware store in historic building

John R. Pulliam
Sue Klusman smiles as she speaks with a reporter inside the shop she and her husband Marv opened in Altona this spring. Amber Jar Antiques, located in the former F.H. Olson General Store catercorner from the Cenex convenience store, features antiques, light hardware and more.

What may be the oldest commercial building between Kewanee and Galesburg is now the newest business in Altona. Amber Jar Antiques Co. opened last month.

The name of the business comes from amber-colored fruit jars once used for canning.

Sue and Marv Klusman, former Altona residents now living on a farm near Gilson, were busy recently getting the store ready.

“Marv and I grew up in Altona, although we haven’t lived here since we went to college,” Sue Klusman said.

The antiques store, which also will carry “light” hardware and sell hunting and fishing licenses, is in the former F.H. Olson General Store. It is on U.S. 34, catercorner from the Cenex convenience store. Lawn and garden supplies, seeds and bird houses also are available. The hardware is in a second room, which has walls from an old barn.

“When we were working on this building last fall, nearly everyone was saying ‘is it going to be a restaurant?’” Sue chuckled. “Bill Mills, who owned the building before us – it was almost a community center, as I understand. The men played cards and they talked. He kept the

Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 12:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday.