Dan Freeburg Antiques
Celebrating Early America...
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Growing up in the historically rich, rural Mennonite farming community of Soap Hollow in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, Dan Freeburg was exposed to the deep roots of the Pennsylvania German and Early American rural culture at an early age.
As a teen, he worked for local auctioneer, Merle Mishler, and other area auctioneers, and soon developed a strong appreciation and attraction to the value, lore and pride that local ancestors put into the early local furniture, stoneware, decorative arts and objects of everyday life, and he was always moved by the idea that so many of the objects remained in the farmhouses and in the possession of families for whom they were originally made.
He bought his first Soap Hollow decorated piece, a blanket chest dated 1848, during that time with money he had saved from a paper route. By his college years, Dan was assisting locally renowned antiques dealer Ernie Fritz of Somerset, Pennsylvania on select shows in eastern Pennsylvania while he served a college internship at the Somerset Historical Center, a 35-acre site interpreting the pioneer start and early development of the western Pennsylvania region.
Pursuing his interests into formal education, the thesis for his Bachelor of Arts in American History focused on the effects and changes that the nationwide Industrial Revolution had on rural western Pennsylvania’s cultural, social and economic climate. Upon graduation, he accepted a position at the Historical Center as fulltime Curator of Collections. In that position of several years, he conducted extensive research on the furniture and decorative arts of the pre-industrial era in Somerset County and western Pennsylvania, while he cared for the center’s extensive collections and buildings, and furthered his education in museum studies and conservation practices while actively buying and selling early country pieces from his home.
A few years later, seeking a less developed and slower paced area of western Pennsylvania, he moved north to rural Elk County, and continued his antiques buying and selling, expanding it to the mid-Atlantic region, while working for the county as Planning Director, and while taking on several building restoration and reconstruction projects on a personal level. In 2004, the people of Elk County elected him to the office of County Commissioner. Now with his wife, Pam, and two sons, Benjamin and Jefferson on board, the antiques business continues as a family affair and never stops growing.
With over 30 years in the antiques business, Dan’s respect for the early hand-made pieces of furniture, textiles, pottery and decorative arts has never wavered, and his enthusiasm and genuine love of the pieces he finds and his desire to preserve their legacy and roots, has grown his client base into a nationwide pool of repeat customers.
Ensuring integrity and standing behind every piece has realized success in the business, which Dan measures as the number of friends he has made in buying and selling.