Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Rick's Relics


Main Street, Tower


Thrify is the new buzzword in this economy, and a new shop on Tower’s Main Street is offering the chance to both buy and sell used merchandise. And for all of you who have been missing Tower’s old secondhand shop, Bits & Pieces, you now have a new spot to hunt for treasures and vintage items.

Rick’s Relics opened for business last week. Husband and wife business owners Tyler Hamilton and Julie Petrzilka have totally remodeled the interior of the building, which is owned by Julie’s parents, that has stood empty for several years.

Julie grew up in Ely, and actually worked in Tower as a teenager when her family operated a bait shop out of the same building. Her parents operate Ely’s Tamarack Resort and the Ely Steam Sauna, and she and her husband recently moved back from Seattle to help out her parents. Julie and Tyler are also planning on putting down roots in the area; they just bought their first home in Ely.

“I grew up working in their businesses,” Julie said. But while she has plenty of business experience, Julie has been learning a lot about secondhand markets and how things are valued.

“I am learning tons of new things everyday,” she said.

The store offers a wide selection of used items, from garage sale treasures to books, furniture, housewares and toys.

“My dad is a fantasic hoarder,” she said, so while most of the inventory is items she has purchased at garage sales, a lot of the items are an attempt to whittle down her father’s collections. In fact, the store is named after Julie’s father.

The shop will buy or consign items. Julie is also selling used items on and, and has found a great market for old porcelain patterns.

Julie’s nephew, Brad Burgess, has been helping out at the store until he goes back to school as a seventh-grader in Ely.

The shop will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. for the fall. Winter hours will be set at a later date.