Crescent Moon Antiques & Salvage Oshkosh, WI
Welcome to Crescent Moon Antiques and Salvage!
At its most basic level, Crescent Moon, was formed June 17th, 1987 on the banks of the Fox River. We are dedicated to preserving history and heritage through our reclamation services, in addition to helping create sustainable, unique residential and commercial projects through our extensive knowledge and design services with the re-use of our salvaged architectural historic material. We live by HDT's words, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
We built Crescent Moon on hard, gritty work with a dedication to bringing the best, and in many cases, the most unusual and unique material and concepts to the project table. In addition to specializing in architectural antique recovery, we provide design service, problem solving, project facilitation and the conceptual application of our reclaimed resources. We have been involved in countless residential and commercial projects over the last thirty years including restoration, remodeling, new construction, commercial development revitalization, interior design (exterior too) and decorative arts.
We believe nothing is too small, too big, too important or too inconsequential to be salvaged and reused to preserve our history and heritage, and create a sustainable environment.
We take great pride in significantly reducing project costs while simultaneously and dramatically enhancing projects with bygone craftsmanship.
With 30 years of experience integrated with 15 years of a hands-on, personal Main Street retail showroom, we are pleased to be able to offer our services online to reach everyone and anyone interested in history, heritage, preservation and sustainability.
We take great pride in providing exclusive, personal service at a price that allows normal people, "normal" being a subjective term ;) , to create the incredible.
We look forward to working with you!
Kindly, Julie and J
J and Julie Karner view life through the words of Henry David Thoreau—”It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” That quotation perfectly fits the couple’s ability to look beyond decades of ruin to see the beauty that once was and can be again. But that quotation might well apply to the beginnings of J and Julie’s relationship, too. It began on June 17, 1987, when J looked at a young woman with her hair pulled back in a ponytail and wearing a Mickey Mouse T-shirt. That’s what J looked at, but it wasn’t what he saw. Instead, J saw the two of them spending a life of adventure together. More than thirty years later, J and Julie have a beautiful life together and also a beautiful business, Crescent Moon Antiques and Salvage and its subsidiary, Crescent Moon Properties. The Karners turned their passion for preserving antique architectural elements through salvage work into a thriving business that was honored in 2013 with the Acanthus Award from the Oshkosh Landmarks Commission, the city’s historic preservation committee. Another honor came in 2008 when Crescent Moon was selected as one of three vendors to provide period pieces for the movie Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp as the Depression-era gangster John Dillinger. The other two vendors were located a little closer to the Hollywood action—Warner Brothers and Rick’s Hardware of LA. As beautiful as J and Julie’s story is, the journey hasn’t always been easy. While building their business, they raised two children, Julie taught school, and J was a detective with the Neenah Police Department. Julie also earned a master’s degree and J, while being promoted in his law enforcement career, remained a SWAT operator and trainer until retiring in 2017. In 2006, J was recognized as “Trainer of the Year.” He’s proud of his legacy of teaching others to preserve life under deadly force conditions and developing techniques that are used nationwide. From the dream of a young couple, Crescent Moon Antiques and Salvage has grown to a respected business known far beyond the city limits of Oshkosh and the Wisconsin state boundaries. Thanks to the Internet, the company is now the go-to market for people looking for antique architectural pieces, design service, problem solving, and project facilitation. Today’s business grew from the first project that J and Julie committed themselves to together, which also happened to be their first home together. It was a neglected farmhouse in bad need of renovation—the perfect project for the young couple to not only “look at” but “to see.” In 1991, on a quest for material to renovate their first home, J and Julie found a kindred spirit and together they formed companion companies, Architectural Elements and Urban Artifacts, now Urban Evolutions of Appleton. Both companies focused on the reclamation of architectural antiques from homes, commercial and manufacturing buildings. During that time, the retail showroom was moved from Oshkosh to a four-thousand-square-foot location in Appleton. While running their two businesses, Urban Artifacts and Architectural Elements, J and Julie also were deeply involved with their careers, with Julie teaching in Fond du Lac for seven years and then Oshkosh for another eight. In Oshkosh, Julie developed a revolutionary early education program that was adopted by the district. Driven by a passion for preserving antique architectural elements and wanting to return to Oshkosh, J and Julie purchased a home on Mt. Vernon Street, commonly known as the Baby Doe Tabor House and believed to be the first residential structure designed and built by William Waters, an architect credited with designing much of historic Oshkosh and the Fox River Valley. The couple succeeded in restoring the dilapidated house back to its historic grandeur so that J’s terminally ill mother could live with them. At the same time, they began looking for a commercial location to move their business from Appleton to Oshkosh. Today (at the time of publication, April 2019), Crescent Moon is (was) located at 537 North Main Street in the former Gibson Tire and Auto building, which has undergone extensive restoration. Because of their love of Oshkosh, the Karners also give back to the community through extensive charitable giving. Through their restoration efforts and their willingness to help transform lives, J and Julie are living up to Thoreau’s words: ”It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
- 2019 HISTORIC WINNEBAGO COUNTY: The People, The Waters, The Future