Burr Oak Whistle Stop
Popular Antique Shop is a Culver Favorite
Photographer / Jubilee Edgell
Since opening in July of 2017, Burr Oak Whistle Stop in Culver has become a unique staple for Marshall County. The shop, offering one-of-a-kind items any antiquarian would love, has had people from all over the globe find the perfect thing to complete a cozy, welcoming home.
History plays a big role in Burr Oak Whistle Stop, but it doesn’t come from the antiques alone. The store has a lot of local and personal significance, says owner Kevin Overmyer. Customers come in on a regular basis to share stories of “the old days.” It happens so regularly, it has become Kevin and his wife Melodie’s favorite part of their jobs.
“They remember when it was a general store — the meat counter was in there. The post office was in there,” Overmyer says. “I remember when we were kids, when trains would stop and the engineers would come [to the general store] and get a sandwich and a pop for lunch, and then they’d get back in their engines and ride off again.”
When the Overmyers sold their generations-old family farm in 2016, it made perfect sense to take over 15295 State Road 17. Kevin spent plenty of time as a kid growing up in Burr Oak. He has many fond memories of riding his bike up to the general store with his friends.
Years later, after the general store was closed, and ownership was changing fairly often, it was disappointing to watch a community hub fall into disarray.
“We had the opportunity to refurbish and rehab it and bring it back to life,” he says. “We salvaged it.”
Today, the space has been transformed into a clean, beautiful showroom with antique furniture galore. Customers also often appreciate the home decor, with 1803 Candles, gifts and various signs.
Their signs are a big seller. Burr Oak Whistle Stop carries signs for nearly every one of the 26 lakes in Marshall County, in addition to a wide variety of Christian signs with Bible verses made in the United States.
If you purchase some of their featured bowls or a MudPie, you can benefit charity and yourself. You go home with something new that you love, and certain items’ proceeds go to missionaries in Turkey or the American Cancer Society. The bowls are items from Turkey, and the MudPies benefit the American Cancer Society.
The Overmyers’ charity does not stop there, however. Kevin says that they try to do as much as they can to give back on a local level, too, by donating to all kinds of different auctions.
“We try to help out as much as possible,” he says. “We’re just here to help the community as much as we can and provide good products for those organizations [to] help raise money for their efforts.”
The care that they show for the community extends to their guests, as well. Kevin recounts multiple customers who were visiting from outside of the United States that loved their visit to Burr Oak Whistle Stop. People from Mexico, Brazil and England have all found things to love within the store. It’s not hard to believe, though, because, with an emphasis on customer service, patrons from all over are sure to feel welcomed.
“They’re part of what we’re doing. If it weren’t for our customers, we wouldn’t have our business,” Overmyer says. “We go above and beyond to make people feel welcome. In the wintertime, we offer free coffee or hot cocoa. It’s a relaxing place, and we try and be as much help as possible.”
Truly a family-centered business, on any given day, you may interact with Kevin, Melodie, their daughter Suzanne Barth, or one of the Overmyers’ granddaughters, Hannah and Grace Barth.
You can visit Burr Oak Whistle Stop from 11 am to 6 pm on Tuesday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm on Saturday, or 1 pm to 5 pm on Sunday. They are closed on Mondays. You can also visit them online at burroakwhistlestop.com or on their Facebook page. For more information, call 574-952-0852 or send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Burr Oak Whistle Stop is located at 15295 State Road 17 in Culver.