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Downtown Civil War Store Closes

Business owner Terry Thomann blames the economy for the loss of his business.

Terry Thomann has been a Civil War buff since his childhood in Joliet, Ill.  He came to Fredericksburg to capitalize on that interest.

"What better place for a Civil War shop than in Fredericksburg, Va., with four battlefields in the area," he said.

But Thomann's dream ends Nov. 30.

The lease on his storefront ends today, and Thomann is closing his Civil War Life & Homefront Museum Store.

"There are too many lookers and not enough buyers," Thomann said from his nearly empty shop.  In the past weeks he's been accepting "reasonable offers" for everything, even the display cases.

"I've been in business 12 years," said Thomann. "My shop and mueum used to be adjacent to the Visitor Center [in Massaponax], but I moved to this location three years ago," he said.

He said the economic downturn has destroyed his business. "Part of the economy is the price of gas, and there have been vastly fewer tourists because of that," he said.  And so, just weeks before the 150th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Fredericksburg, Thomann is closing shop.

Thomann is an authentic Civil War era wet plate photographer who participates in re-enactments.  He said he'll probably continue with that; but not until he takes some time off to rest and recover from his disappointment.

Related Story: Civil War Life Museum Store to Close

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Liam December 01, 2012 at 09:21 PM
I'm sorry Mr. Thomann lost his business. I thought the shop a quaint addition to Downtown Fredericksburg. That said I take issue with the fact that people are travelling less. According to American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 84 million Americans will travel this holiday season. A 7 percent increase from last year.

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