McKee remodels former printery into The Gossip

Carolyn McKee knows antiques. 

The Holton resident has spent more than 30 years attending auctions and garage sales, learning the history and value of furniture and home items.

That knowledge is now being put to good use as McKee has opened The Gossip – Rumors of an Eclectic Style just off of the Holton Square.

The Gossip is located at 118th E. 5th St., and the name is a nod to The Gossip Printery, which operated from the building many years ago. A grand opening celebration of the business is scheduled for Saturday.

McKee’s store includes vintage, handmade and artistic items. 

“When Kerwin and I were newly married, he took me to my first auction,” McKee said of her husband. “The first thing he bought was an old Treadle sewing machine, and I’ve been hooked ever since.”

McKee said she learned about antiquing from “the best,” which included the late Jackson County residents Pat McClintock, Dottie Green and Marge Taylor.

“I would observe them at auctions,” she said. “They would explain the value of things to me. I feel like I have quite a bit of knowledge about antiques for my age.”

The old and new items offered at The Gossip are curated or created by a variety of local and regional vendors. Some of the pieces available for purchase include bedroom furniture, dinning room sets, cabinets, desks, books, tools, dishes, glassware, stained glass, original artwork, handcrafted wooden toys, jewelry, candles, light fixtures and doll clothing.

“All the furniture in my own home was purchased at an antique shop or an auction and refurbished because I feel like the older furniture is made so much better,” she said. “It’s better quality, and it’s going to last. It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do.”

Current vendors at The Gossip include 4 Girls’ Garage, Ac-Scents by Kelli Mick, Stella’s Antiques, woodworking by Dave Snyder, Merle & Grace Bag Co. by Gail Carter, paintings and illustrated books by Carol Totten, American Girl Doll clothing by Carolyn Bartlett and steampunk sculptures, lighting and jewelry by Burton Mannell. 

McKee said she does not take consignment items for The Gossip, but people can apply to become a vendor at the shop if they are interested.

In the future, McKee said she is interested in hosting classes at The Gossip, such as learning how to build your own terrarium or how to use chalkboard paint. 

The McKees purchased the building the fall of 2014 and began renovating the space, which also includes offices for Bell Graphics and the Holton/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. The Gossip officially opened in January.

Besides vintage items, McKee also offers interior design consulting.

“One of my best design tips is if you see something that you really love, get it. You will find a place for it,” she said. “I’m also a believer in that it doesn’t matter how much money you make, your home is your retreat so you need to make it a place of comfort for you.”

A grand opening for the business is being held on Saturday. From 10 a.m. to noon that day, Outlaws Photography will be photographing kids and families with the Easter bunny at the store for a fee. 

From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., drinks and barbecue by Your Place or Mine will be served. Prizes are set to be given away, and Lorie Fleming Huyett and Holton High School student Sonora Sheldon will demonstrate pottery throwing. 

The Gossip is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The business is also open 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month.

For more information, call 785-305-0605 or e-mail

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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