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Brown Lantern room pays tribute

By Staff | Jul 18, 2014

Tim Chapman/PCT Helen Laughridge (left) shares the history of antiques with Renae Dockter (middle) and Beverly Meckle in Laughridge's new 600-square foot room at the Brown Lantern.

When the Laughridges return to their winter home in Florida in November it will be a bittersweet welcome to the Sunshine State.

Warmer temperatures and sunny skies will feel great, but for the first time in years they won’t be greeted by neighbor and dear friend Tony Tagg.

Their friend passed away earlier this year, and the meticulous gardener and antiquer left behind loads of treasurers that are the inspiration of Helen Laughridge’s new 600-square foot room, which opened July 10, at The Brown Lantern in Rugby.

“This room wouldn’t be what it is if we didn’t have this furniture to display,” Laughridge said. “I wanted it to look elegant and not just shelves stuffed in here.”

Laughridge said Tagg dreamed of having his own antique store. He would have filled it nicely with items like the beautiful wine urn and a wooden table with an intricately carved eagle inset.

Tagg’s family had an estate sale and the Laughridge’s purchased enough that an offer was made to the Rugby natives for the remainder of belongings not sold.

“His nephew was in charge and said, ‘Helen, you bought quite a few items. Would you like what’s left?’ ” she said. “We got a figure, I looked at Gary and we bought it all.”

The couple even bought both of Tagg’s two-acre plots of land.

The new room at The Brown Lantern has clocks, paintings, frames, vases and other furnishings set up with Tagg’s antiques and furniture complimenting just anything that wasn’t his.

“People say what’s in the room?” Laughridge said. “We say something old and something new.”

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