The story of Iron horse antiques.
Medford Carl Doggett purchased the city block of land on September 28, 1915. The Iron Horse Antique building was built on the corner lot of Prescott Avenue & Centreville Road in 1945 by Roy Winford Doggett with the aid of his father Medford Carl Doggett. (Roy Doggett was a member of the County Board of Supervisors for about 10 years.). It is a two-story building that was finished on the first floor and storage on the 2nd floor. It has housed several businesses in its lifetime. Courtesy Carpets was the last occupant before Iron Horse Antiques.
From the Prince William Telephone Directory and/or City Directories
1945-1964 Not able to determine use. Rumored to be an Automobile related.
1967-1970 Carpet Crafters at 422 Prescott changed address in 1969 to 9200 Prescott
1971-1993 Courtesy Carpets (Franklin D Cooley)
1996 – Present - Iron Horse Antiques
Gary Hale had a business and worked in the area traveling past the building every day seeing it sit vacantly. Gary did some research and found out who owned the building. Mr. Doggett was the kind of person that if he liked you, then you were in and Gary and Mr. Doggett made a long-lasting friendship and a business deal which lasted many years until his passing. Mr. Doggett was always very fair and easy to do deal with and he passed his way of life along to his wife and children who are still part of Manassas.
After a bankruptcy was settled with Courtesy Carpet, Mr. Doggett gave free rein to Gary. Gary worked in the evenings and weekends cleaning the building out on the first floor to prepare the building for something Gary had been wanting for a long time… An antique shop. With the help from his wife and kids who played in the store, while he worked, and the support from people like Chuck Stevens and Larry Posey who were always there to lend a hand with the renovations that were just too much for one person to handle by themselves. Larry Posey has passed away, but Chuck Stevens remains a big part of our continuing story.
Gary now needed to find stock for the antique shop, so one time per week Gary would get up very early in the mornings and head north to auctions. There were Dealer auctions with 8 auctioneers selling goods at the same time. He would bring back the items, clean them up, and put them in the shop. He was finding it hard to get enough stock to support the business, so a deal was made with.
J. E. Rice Company to sell off the antiques that Jimmy Rice had collected for many years before his passing. There was a large inventory of items, and this allowed Gary to continue to run the shop. Gary hired a couple of employees. Glennie Smith was one of those employees and had been working in the antique field for years. With Glennie’s help, Gary was able to renovate the upstairs of the building and started getting pickers/dealers to purchase the inventory set it up, and then the store would do the selling.
The shop has continued operating the same way over the years. Iron Horse Antiques is a figurehead for antiques and a large draw to Manassas, Virginia, while sitting on the outskirts of Old Town Manassas leading into the historic district. Iron Horse stays well stocked so that whatever customer walks into our store, they will be able to find a treasure of their liking.
Origin of Iron Horse (term)
First recorded in 1825–35
"Iron horse" is an iconic literary term (currently transitioning into an archaic reference) for a steam locomotive, originating in the early 1800s when horses still powered most machinery, except windmills and stationary steam engines. The term was common and popular in both British and North American literary articles.
Manassas being a Civil War town and having steam trains coming through as a vital function and existence of the town. The name “iron horse” thus, the antique shop took on the name “Iron Horse Antiques”. To promote this, Gary installed a G gauge train that greets visitors as they enter the front door circling some of the dealers’ booths, all the while having steam hissing, bells ringing and whistles blowing.
A visit to the shop will return you to early times remembering Grandma’s house with all the smells of good things cooking, including homemade bread that the shop bakes every day and then lets customer's sample.