Jesse and Corie Quackenbush recently opened the Rainmaker's Antiquarian in Kingwood.
For those looking for a new shopping experience close to home, The Rainmaker's Antiquarian has opened in Kingwood's Town Center.
Owners Jesse and Corie Quackenbush recently moved their family to Kingwood and decided it would be a great place for their new business.
Jesse Quackenbush, an attorney with his own Amarillo-based firm, now also practices here, and spends his spare time reading and relaxing at the store, and discussing history with customers.
At The Rainmaker's Antiquarian, customers will find rare first-edition and signed books; books on subjects not widely covered by most bookstores including world theology, anthropology, military history, weapons, freemasonry and many others; as well as signed art by Picasso, Warhol and Chagall. Visitors to the store can thumb through old postcards and comic books, and peruse historical letters and books bearing the signatures of John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Dwight D. Eisenhower, both Bush presidents, J. Edgar Hoover, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Anne Rice, Quentin Tarantino and many more.
Jesse Quackenbush explained how the store came to fruition.
“We opened an antique store in New York and became interested in collecting books and historical papers during that time. The reality of the digital age and the world's reduced reliance on paper for letters, books and magazines led me to the conclusion that we are entering a new phase of paperless communications. I felt compelled to archive and save the historical papers of the past, and now share those artifacts with the public. Most of what we sell will only be available in museums in a few decades. I believe what we are selling are great investments and will have significant increased value over time,” said Quackenbush.
When a good friend who owned a rare book store in Amarillo became ill and had to sell his store, Quackenbush bought his stock in order to preserve what his friend had spent years collecting. This resulted in the store's immense book collection.
When asked which was his favorite item in the store, Quackenbush had a hard time narrowing it down to just one.
“George F. Root's signature accompanying his sheet music for 'Battle Cry of Freedom' is at or near the top. That song could be one of the most important pieces of music in American history. When heard by Lincoln for the first time, it brought a tear to his eye. Many historians claim that the song provided the inspiration for Northern troops to begin winning battles and eventually the Civil War. The Confederate Army also adopted the song as their battle music and simply changed the words,” said Quackenbush. “Harriet Beecher Stowe's signature inside 'The Key To Uncle Tom's Cabin' also ranks high alongside letters by JFK, RFK and MLK Jr.”
For those looking for a unique find for themselves or as a gift, the store offers something for every budget.
“We have books, sheet music, ephemera, movie lobby cards, celebrity stills, pottery shards, 19th century billheads and Civil War artifacts for under $10,” said Quackenbush. “Most of our modern fiction is below $20. Our Warhol and Picasso signed prints are the most expensive art. Our most expensive letters or autographs range from $4,000 to $12,000. Our most expensive books range from $600 to $900, but a few go as high as $2,500.”
For those interested in legal advice, Quackenbush specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice auto accidents and product liability, and said he really enjoys criminal law cases if the facts are interesting. He doesn't mind offering free advice to those who stop by the store, where he also has a law office.
To round out his most interesting background, Quackenbush is also a filmmaker.
“I wrote, directed and produced a documentary, 'The Last Word,' which was accepted widely on the festival circuit, picked up for distribution and eventually optioned for a feature film (same title) by Frank Mancuso Jr. and Peter Facinelli. The film wrapped in Shreveport last year and is expected to be released some time soon.”
“I plan to produce more feature films in the future and I'm currently working on a screenplay for a teen comedy,” said Quackenbush.
The Rainmaker's Antiquarian is located at 4439 Town Center Place, on the second floor, facing W. Lake Houston Parkway.