After 42 years, The Town Dump in Cave Creek closes

Erik Hoyer and Madelyn Hines in front of The Town Dump in Cave Creek

The Town Dump, an iconic landmark in Cave Creek, closed its doors on December 31 after 42 years in business. Owner Madelyn Hines said her business was “great fun,” but her age and some physical limitations prompted her to accept an offer on the buildings and property in November.
The remaining items in the “wild and crazy store” will be auctioned at EJ’s Auction & Appraisal in Glendale starting on Saturday, January 19. Because of the large quantity of collectibles, a second auction will take place on January 26.
“Locals and tourists alike loved to wander through The Town Dump to discover unique collectibles, kitschy souvenirs, colorful pottery, sculpture, furniture, jewelry, clothing, antiques and other quirky finds,” said Erik Hoyer, owner of EJ’s Auction & Appraisal.
Hoyer, who lives in the Cave Creek area with his wife, Naomi, said a free preview is planned at the Glendale auction house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. January 16 through January 18. Doors open on January 19 at 9 a.m. with the live auction starting in three rings at 10 a.m. Online bidding is also available.
Looking Back Over Four Decades
Hines and her late husband, Jim, moved to Cave Creek in the late 1960s, when Phoenix was considered a far trip from the small town. In 1973, they built and later sold the motel that is now known as the Tumbleweed Motel. They also built the now-vacant building on southwest corner of Cave Creek and School House Roads and opened The Town Dump there in 1976.
“We first started selling furniture and bedding from a Holiday Inn in California, and then we expanded to sell lumber, copper and other items,” Hines said. “We were only in that location for about six to eight months until we moved to our current location.”
While The Town Dump has enjoyed incredible success over the past four decades, things weren’t always rosy.
“When we first opened, it was to the dismay of a few local residents,” Hines said. “Early on, some people started circulating a petition because they didn’t like the store name.”
As Cave Creek and its surrounding communities evolved, so did the store. Hines and her husband went on buying trips overseas and they started a second business, TDI Dolls, which Hines still operates today out of a large warehouse in Carefree. TDI Dolls sells porcelain doll pieces to the craft industry.
Jim’s passing in 1990 was another challenging time, but Hines’ entrepreneurial spirit carried her through that as well as lean times, brutal, slow summers with no air conditioning, and a changing retail market.
“I’m very grateful to our customers and to my employees who shared my passion for The Town Dump,” Hines said. “The fact that we’ve been in Cave Creek for 42 years says a lot about our community.”