During the Colonial Era, a pineapple was a sign of wealth and welcoming. People would display a pineapple on their dinner table to impress their friends while sea captains would display a pineapple in their front yard when they returned home from sea. This was a subtle way to inform their family and friends that they have returned home safely and are ready for visitors. John McAuliffe and his wife were inspired by the sign of the pineapple during the Colonial Era that they named their business after it. Although Sign of the Pineapple in Williamston doesn’t have a pineapple on display outside its store, it welcomes visitors seven days a week. John McAuliffe said he enjoys managing Sign of the Pineapple because he enjoys talking to people.
Tucked away in a corner, in an otherwise small crevice of Red Cedar Antiques, a room labeled “comics” sits idly — scores of memories and nostalgia packing the cramped quarters. In another corner, sports memorabilia flashes the legacies of legends from Michigan State to nearby Detroit. Those particular items are owner Todd Goodrich’s brainchild, his fingerprints firmly planted on a number of goods within the store. Though it isn’t just him; he estimates he has around 26 dealers who stock his shelves with items from the past. “I really like comics, I like sports memorabilia,” Goodrich said.
Finding the thin line between expanding a community while holding on to it’s hometown environment is something Williamston has found. Through the expansion of its downtown with new apartment buildings and restaurants, the community has still managed to keep its label as a small-town neighborhood.
St. Johns Book Exchange creates a unique atmosphere by having the owners Edwin and Gerty Lamb’s three cats, Snoopy, Boots, and Cuddles, wander around the store while customers shop. The animal trio adds a feeling of comfort and an inimitable experience. While flipping through books, customers are purred at and have their ankles stroked by the three cats. Due to the excellent behavior of the animals, customers are able to pet and play with them while they shop at the store, located at 121 N. Clinton Ave.