A colossal collection of cool stuff

Granny and Grumpa's located at 37936 Wells Line Road has what is considered the largest single stock of antiques in B.C.

This is just a small part of an amazing display at Granny and Grumpa’s – antique collectors on Sumas Prairie.

This is just a small part of an amazing display at Granny and Grumpa’s – antique collectors on Sumas Prairie.

John Schweigert arrived on Sumas Prairie nearly 80 years ago – 1937 to be exact.

A beautifully restored Model T convertible in one of his barns predates this by a decade.

In fact, wandering through the buildings on his farm is a walk through history, because John and wife Marion, also known as Granny and Grumpa, have what is considered the largest single collection of antiques in British Columbia.

And “large” doesn’t quite capture the incredibly vast collection of anything and everything under the sun. There is a room crammed with hundreds of dolls, and a pop bottle collection that must have one of every soft drink container ever made.

Walking with John through the barns becomes a series of questions: “Do you know what this is?” followed by a description of what the thing is. A 200-year-old device for making corn brooms, complete with broom and a couple of clumps of shredded corn stalks.

There is a dozen or more wonderfully restored farm tractors, including the first tractor owned by the Schweigert family. And sitting outside under its own canopy is a D-8 bulldozer used to build the Alaska Highway in 1942. It was restored to original condition, complete with military markings and paint, by a man in Oregon who a few years ago sold it to John. It is in complete working condition … “we started it up Sunday when a group of Shriners came to visit,” noted Grumpa.

So how, I asked, did you accumulate all this stuff? The answer was: “I don’t take vacations in Hawaii, I go to auction sales.”

He has been collecting for 25 years, and I’d hazard a guess he’s spent more on his acquisitions than it would take to buy a very nice house in Vancouver.

His collection however, is not just a museum of memorabilia. Almost everything is for sale. Some four years ago, he even had a visit from the reality TV show Canadian Pickers – “they bought about a thousand bucks worth of stuff.”

I must admit, I was tempted to buy something, but I don’t think the magnificent solid oak witness stand from the original New Westminster court house would fit within my budget. Nor do I need an early ’50s Peterbuilt fuel truck that was fully restored by the manufacturer.

I also thought I’d look pretty good behind a horse in one of his many democrat buggies, or in the little 1971 VW convertible with a stickshift but no clutch – I assume the forerunner of Volkswagen’s automatic transmission.

What I, or anyone else would do with the many player pianos and organs is anyone’s guess, or the dozens of antique phones.

The vastness of the collection is quite overwhelming. If you are in a buying mood, or just want to tour, expect to spend many hours going through the displays.

Be sure to check out the native Indian stone bowls and pestles, many of them found on John’s farmland which ties them to the local Sto:lo First Nations who have peopled the Sumas area for millennia.

In this age of minimalism, many of the antiques no longer appeal to the younger generation. However, for anyone who wants to go back in time, or perhaps pick up some lawn art, Granny and Grumpa’s Antiques is a must visit. You won’t be disappointed, and I guarantee you will be amazed at what is there.

Granny and Grumpa’s is listed as Number 1 on the Abbotsford Circle Farm Tour and is located at 37936 Wells Line Road You can take Whatcom Road south of the freeway about 1.5 km to Nelles Road. At Birchwood Dairy (be sure to stop for ice cream) the road turns north then becomes Wells Line. G&G’s is about 5.5 km from the Whatcom overpass. You can also access it from the Cole Road exit, and on that route you will see the resurrection of hop growing (for craft breweries) that many decades ago was a staple crop on Sumas and Chilliwack Prairies.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cemetery staff installed the wrong headstone on the grave of Jima Kiir, even though the headstone’s photo did not match with the photo placed on the grave. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford mother upset city placed wrong headstone on son’s grave

Cemetery staff mix up graves of 2 recently deceased men from South Sudanese community

View looking south from Mt. Archibald, taking in the proposed ski terrain of Bridal Veil Mountain Resort, with Mt. Mercer (centre left) and Mt. Thurston (centre right, shrouded in cloud).
Ambitious all-season mountain resort proposed near Chilliwack

Proponents say Bridal Veil Mountain Resort could cover 11,500 acres bring in $252 million a year

Passengers aboard Komagata Maru in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, 1914. (Library and Archives Canada image)
Abbotsford city staff to work with 4 groups to commemorate Komagata Maru tragedy

Options to be considered for ‘lasting memorial’ to honour victims of 1914 incident

A photo illustration shows a fountain planned for Mill Lake. (City of Abbotsford photo)
UPDATED: City approves $200K fountain for Mill Lake using donated funds

Project will improve lake quality and ecosystem, say Abbotsford city staff

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court where she is charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a 78-year-old woman on Mary Street on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crown seeking jail time for 72-year-old Chilliwack woman found guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Trial of Linnea Labbee who struck and killed 78-year-old woman in 2016 ended Monday

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read