Friday, April 1, 2011

"A” is for Antiquing in Southern Illinois

I am engaging in a writing challenge that kicks off today known as the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge, which you can sign up for here. So today’s blog post is about antique shopping in southern Illinois.

Shopping for antiques in southern Illinois is a great way to spend a day, a weekend or even a week. There are dozens of shops scattered around the region. No matter how meticulous you are, you probably still won’t find them all.

“Antiquing” means different things to different people. You are not likely to find medieval suits of armor or Louis XIV furniture in any of these shops but you can still find treasures. The trick is to know what you are looking for. Many of the shops are owned by folks with a passion for history and a penchant for collecting other people’s junk. While some items may look like junk to you, you’d be surprised at what some people get excited over.

For a brief time, my husband and I owned a second hand/antique shop. We went to auctions every week looking for just the right things to add to our inventory. The things we thought were great finds often sat in our shop for months while the oddball items that came in the $1 box lots went almost immediately and for far more than we ever expected.

If you are looking for some shops to explore in southern Illinois, here are some I recommend:

Memorylane Collectibles & Antiques is located at 4575 E. Vienna St. in Anna, IL. The shop features multiple vendors and has over 7000 sq. ft. to explore. They have a nice mix of older and newer stuff at reasonable prices and are easy to locate on Illinois Route 146 just off I-57.

The Shawnee Hill Antique Barn is an antique shop housed in an 1860 barn. When you are done shopping, you can visit the blacksmith shop below the barn. The shop is located at 290 Water Valley Road in Cobden, IL.

Wolf Creek Antiques and Crafts is a family run shop in Goreville, IL. They have an eclectic mix of merchandise from books, records and toys to old farm equipment and tools. You can find them at 215 S Broadway in a three-story building with more than 45 vendors selling wares.

The Marion Antique Mall is a personal favorite where I have shopped for years. The store looks more like a warehouse on the outside but is full of atmosphere on the inside. If you’re lucky, you may stop by when the owner, a violinist, is playing. The shop encompasses a vast 10,000 sq. ft. and you’ll want to explore every nook and cranny. From furniture to specialized glassware and pottery, there’s something for everyone.

This post could go on and on so I will stop here and return to antiquing in southern Illinois at a later date. If you know of a nifty local shop that would of interest, please feel free to leave the details in the comments and I’ll be sure to check it out.


Marie Anne said...

I love putzing around in antique and thrift stores. It's definitely a great way to spend a day or weekend.

Jenny said...

I have been to Wolf Creek Antiques and Crafts once. I like their collection of old farm tools and toys! It is an amazing little place to shop at.

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