Lamb’s Jewelry has been part of Columbia landscape for 60 years, but soon the building on Ninth Street between Lakota Coffee Co. and Main Squeeze will be empty. Lamb’s begins its going-out-of-business sale today at 10 a.m.
Dozens of silver watches fill the glass case inside the entrance to Lamb’s Jewelry. Antique clocks line the wall behind the case, and near the door sits a large grandfather clock. In a store where little has changed for 60 years, it is fitting that the hands on most of the clocks stand still. “It’s the end of an era,” said owner Terry Calcote.
Lamb’s was more than a jewelry store to those who shopped or worked there.
“It was like a neighborhood; a lot of people just came in to talk or tell fishing stories,” said Becky Calcote, Terry’s wife.
Terry Calcote can’t count the number of wedding sets the store has made and sold. Baby gifts, gifts for special occasions and even trophies for the Boone County Fair have come from Lamb’s. The right wall of the store still displays shelves of delicately engraved silver plates.
Frank and Helen Lamb first opened Lamb’s Jewelry in 1943. Frank Calcote bought it in 1976. After Frank Calcote’s death on July 28, his son Terry Calcote began running the business.
“It’s not the same without Dad,” he said. “We just feel it’s time for closure.”
Frank Calcote’s granddaughter Amanda Hague remembers how friendly her grandfather was in the shop. “He was so nice,” she said. “He was the type of guy who’d give you the shirt off his back.”
Lamb’s is a family business where many family members worked at one point or another. Hague worked in the store on and off for years. She used to do somersaults down the shop’s floor as a child and said the store is like a second home. Her wedding ring came from Lamb’s.
As friends and members of the Calcote family count inventory and re-price merchandise for the store’s final sale, a somber atmosphere permeates the front room. Christmas decorations of tinsel and snowflakes share wall space with blue and red signs advertising the big sale.
Terry Calcote is sad to see the store go.
“I grew up in here, and there’ll be a lot of things I’ll miss, the neighborhood, the people, but especially my dad.”