Brown County was formed from the aborted pioneer agriculture efforts of four different counties. The clear cut hills soon erroded and starvation ensued. Once the true beauty of the area was restored, artists flocked to the region where they could buy land cheap and had a nice view also. The little settlement of Nashville finally prospered with the advent of tourism. Tourists love art colonies.
Althought the country roads are full of artists studios and galleries, Nashville is the heart of the shopping district. And Van Buren Street is the heart of Nashville. We stayed in Nashville a week and each day we spent some time browsing the shops.
There is a variety to choose from. We were most impressed with the Brown County Craft Gallery on Main Street. We bought beautifully worked wood bottle stoppers there. The store had other art quality crafts available, too.
Another favorite was a family glassblowing business found in two stores. The Lawrence family has one shop on Van Buren and another around the corner on Franklin. If you are lucky the senior Lawrence will be in a chatty mood and between manipulations of the hot glass he will entertain you with his humorous dialog. The junior Lawrence doesn't have his father's sense of humor, but he does exceed his dad in his skills with hot glass. Mainly they make Christmas tree ornaments and small figurines. However if you have the $$$ they have some very fine glass sculptures that capture the movement of the subject beautifully.
There were several Christmas stores, my favorite was Holly's on the corner of Van Buren and Mound Street. Just walking up the sidewalk to the store is entertaining. The walkway was lined with a colorful hedge of vegetables. Don't know what plants they were but I suspect they were related to cauliflower.
Inside the shop were many varieties of Christmas tree and house decorations. The glass pieces resembeling candy resting in "paper" cups intrigued me.
Another type of store found throughout town is what I call door and yard decor. Many many attractive door wreaths made from a variety of materials are available. The Woodlands Gallery on the corner of Van Buren and Gould Street had some very funny yard deer and moose. Each one had a funny big toothy grin.
There are a few T-shirt shops. One or two are junk shops, but there also are two "Life is Good" shops. I counted three "all Halloween all the time" shops. Shops with preserves, chutney, relishes, mustards, and other edibles could be found all over town. Candy and fudge stores and pop corn stores offer interesting choices such as Dill Pickle Popcorn, but frankly they are very high priced per ounce. I had good luck finding nifty new gadgets in the cook's shop "Kiss the Cook" located on the second floor of building at 125 S Van Buren.
And of course there were local artist jewelry stores. I managed to restrain myself and only bought two items. The same with bookstores. We liked "The Loft" which oddly was on the ground floor of a one story building on Honeysuckle Lane. I recommend this to people who are looking for regional books and books with unusual titles or subjects.
This is not a place to shop for clothing, or for staples, this is a place to shop for ..."Will you look at that!" ....and "What fun!" Enjoy your self and go ahead, pay $13 for a medium size bag of popcorn, after all this is your vacation.