MILTON — Elaine Pfeil describes tarry as "an old-fashion word for rest."

It's appropriate that Tarry Shop is the name she and her husband John selected for the new Milton business they are preparing to open.

The Pfeils recently completed the purchase of the former Enterline's Flowers building, located on the corner of Broadway and Arch streets. 

They are currently refurbishing the building — which has largely been untouched for years — with plans to open a shop which will offer books, antiques and gift items available for purchase.

John said the shop will have an area people can sit and relax, if they wish to read parts of a book.

"We're not trying to be in competition with any business that sells (food and drinks)," he noted.

The Pfeils have lived in Milton for just four years, but have quickly become engrained in the community.

They moved to the borough from Pen Argyl, after John retired as serving as a pastor.

"When John retired four years ago, we felt like we wanted to live near a river," Elaine said. "The first time we came to Milton, we had a really good feeling.

"We love the location, the feeling, the potential."

"We knew wherever we wanted to go, we wanted to be involved," John added.

Both are active volunteers with The Improved Milton Experience (TIME), and John serves on Milton Borough Council.

As the husband and wife have been involved in the community, they've recognized ways to help make the community vibrant.

"We have to preserve the buildings we have here," John said. 

Ever since they were looking for a home in the community, the building recently purchased by the Pfeils has been on their radar.

"We felt badly about seeing this building sitting here and nothing happening," John said. "Part of our passion here is to save this building.

"John has always wanted to have a book store," Elaine added. "I had a little shop in Lititz." 

The couple will be refurbishing the floors, walls and ceilings of the building's first floor prior to opening. They hope to be ready to open by late spring or early summer.

After renovations are complete on the first floor, and Tarry Shop opens, the Pfeils will be deciding the direction they will be taking with the building's second and third floors.

"We want to keep the 1880s charm (of the building)," John said.

He believes the building was built after much of Milton was destroyed by a fire in 1880.

Initially, he said the property was owned by Dr. Uriah Q. Davis.

"At some point, the church next door bought it," John said, referring to the now vacant church which stands to the rear of the building.

The Pfeils believe the flower shop utilized the building for around 40 years. Under private ownership, it has been vacant for the last several years.

The Pfeils noted that the previous owner had a new roof installed several years ago, but did little to the interior of the building.

"TIME is working on trying to help businesses get started," Elaine said. "We are expecting there may be some community help to get this (building) renovated."

In the interim, the Pfeils are doing the bulk of the renovations themselves.

"I love creating inviting spaces for people," Elaine said.

The Pfeils have been hearing from individuals from across the community who are excited for the new business to open its doors.

"'Thank you' is one of the big things (we're hearing)," Elaine said. "'Thank you for investing in our town.'"

During a recent Milton Borough Council meeting, members of council lauded the Pfeils for their investment in the property.

"He's putting his money where his mouth is with downtown revitalization," council member Linda Meckley said.

"I appreciate that you're betting on Milton," council President Mark Shearer said, to John Pfeil.

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email

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