Antique store owner revives memories for bikepacker

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There’s a leak in the roof at Riches Antiques that’s filling the bucket in the rear left corner of this old store in Rosetown, but Sandra Mathison is unperturbed.

It’s hard to keep shingles on the northwest corner, she explains, because that’s where the prevailing winds come from. Today, those winds have brought in a long-awaited rain, a welcome relief from the heatwave that has been baking the Midwest but maybe too late to save the crops.

Sandra Mathison

Sandra, 69, continues to run the antique store with her 11-year-old pet Havanese dog, Duncan, even though she lost her beloved husband Rich three years ago. Born and raised in the area, Sandra and Rich were high school sweethearts and carved out a life for themselves and their five kids in Rosetown, after moving around the province for years while Rich was working for SaskTel.

This is an emotional moment for ConnecTour team member Allison Flach. She spent summers here as a kid, staying with her grandparents, Art and Beulah Flach. Her father, Peter, went to high school here.

Peter Flach in Grade 11
Allison Flach’s dad Peter in Grade 11 photo

Grandfather Art, it turns out, was an institution in town. He operated the town’s movie theatre for many years before partnering up with Louie Boucher to run a store called Boucher and Flach.

It was revolutionary idea at the time, says Sandra, because a Catholic and a Protestant had never before paired up to operate a store. Until then, the two communities had been divided, but the establishment of that store changed people’s minds about how the community could operate.

“It changed the whole character of the town,” says Sandra.

Allison is proud of her grandfather, who died in 2008 at the age of 98.

“Everyone loved him,” she says. In the family, “everybody strives to be like him.”

In this video, Sandra talks more about her memories of Art Flach and Rosetown in the earlier years.



2 thoughts on “Antique store owner revives memories for bikepacker”

  1. I love these articles! If it works out for you when you get to Espinola ON you can stay at Amy and Ed’s at Nairn Centre. It’s about 8-9 km out of your way but they have 3 extra bedrooms and live on 3.5 acres so there’s lots of room for camping if you’d rather. Let me know what you think . Take care-Lynne

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