Biz Buzz Monday: Galena store offers collection of fossils, historic prints, maps

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-state area. In addition to this update from Galena, Ill., we will share other developments in Tuesday’s edition.

A newer store in downtown Galena focuses on selling a man’s collection of historic items, including fossils.

Rick Pariser opened Rix Antiques, 235 S. Main St., in July. The store is located in the same building as Fraternal Order of Eagles, across from DeSoto House Hotel.

“I have hundreds of maps and prints, boxes of fossils and heaven knows what other materials, and I’m going to be 75 years old,” Pariser said. “That’s the motivation (for opening the store). I don’t want to leave someone else to deal with finding a place for all this stuff.”

Pariser said he has collected fossils for more than two decades, starting with finding fish fossils in dry lake beds in Wyoming.

“I’ve got 20 years of accumulation of that,” Pariser said. “I find it really enjoyable and spend some time every summer doing that.”

He also spent time collecting fossils on the Jurassic Coast of the United Kingdom and northern Africa, which he said is a rich area for fossils of animals that roamed what is now the Sahara Desert.

Pariser also enjoys collecting old maps, and he also accumulated historic prints during his search for maps.

After deciding to sell his collections in a store, Pariser said, he asked about the open unit next to Fraternal Order of Eagles. The Eagles have owned the building for years, he said, but the space now occupied by Rix Antiques has been vacant.

Since opening, Pariser has enjoyed conversations with customers about his items, especially academics who teach him more about the historic items themselves.

“I get a lot of foot traffic because of the fossils,” he said. “That’s a big draw. The retail business is very good, and I’m distributing them to people who appreciate them.”

Rix Antiques is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.