story by GLENDA WINDERS
Shopping for antiques and vintage items just never gets old. Whether you’re feathering your nest with vintage furniture, shopping for a gift or hoping to make an unexpected find, time spent in antique shops is always a pleasure. Even if you’re not a traditional “antique hunter” you can make an adventure out of visiting Indiana’s many treasure-crammed shops and antique malls, several housing many vendors under one roof. They all have
a lot in common, but each has its own personality.
A good place to begin is Antique Alley in Wayne County, who counts its area in miles–66–instead of square feet. Enthusiasts can drive along a loop trail from Richmond to Knightstown on scenic U.S. Highway 40 and back to Richmond along state Route 38, visiting more than 800 antique shops along the way. Known as Indiana’s most diverse antiquing destination, it includes an eclectic collection of malls and shops, including its newest member, Winning Streak Antiques, featuring toys, advertising and “mantiques” for the gentlemen in your party.
The trail’s hub, historic Cambridge City, has ten antique shops within a three-block area, including Log House Antiques, located in an 1830’s log cabin with a choice selection of antiques, fine Indiana art, hobby horses and quilts. Other top spots in Cambridge City are High Hats Antique Mall featuring several vendors and an inn for an overnight stay in a Victorian sleeping room; National Road Antique Mall with more than 90 booths; Allen Antiquities and Curiosities with 6,000 square feet of great finds; Building 125 whose goal is to offer high-quality items at affordable prices; Europa Antiques featuring pieces dating from as early as the 1700s up to the 1970s; Yesterday’s Antiques at the Vinton House, housed in an 1847 brick Federal hotel; The Old Tin Roof, a diverse store filled with collectables, primitives, and unique furniture pieces; and Lucille’s Antiques, an eclectic mix of American country, primitive and Victorian items.
In Corydon, Indiana’s first state capital, the star here is the Red Barn Antique Mall, built in 1880. It has been an antique mall for 36 years and now new owners Shannon and Robin Schoen are changing things up to make it even better.
“We have three floors and 45-plus dealers who all deal in high-quality antiques,” Shannon said. “We have a strict rule of no flea-market items.”
In Vincennes Shakers Landing offers 10,000 feet of everything from primitives and Victorian pieces to vintage jewelry and old signage. They claim to have the largest collection of military items in the area, and they also offer antique restoration.
Just outside of Columbus in Edinburgh is the Exit 76 Antique Mall, the largest in the state and for many miles beyond. Nearby, the Bloomington Antique Mall covers 24,000 square feet on three floors in a historic building that is wheelchair- accessible with ramps and elevators.
While you’re in Bloomington, check out several other shops, such as Cherry Canary (funky clothing and kitschy housewares), Lola + Company (shabby chic meets French country) and the Westbury Antique Market, 22,000 feet where the options include memorabilia from Indiana University. At Jeff’s Warehouse they arrange mid- century modern furniture and pieces from other eras in vignettes so you can better visualize how your purchase might look in your house.
The 35,000-square-foot Jay County Antique Mall in Portland is housed in a factory building that still keeps its historic ambience. Owner Pat Daniels offers everything from painted furniture, mid- century modern collectibles and jewelry to soaps and candles for shoppers on a budget. She says they often get tour buses filled with people who are all looking for something different. “I work hard to keep a mix of items because not everyone likes the same thing,” she said. “I want to keep it interesting for everyone.”
The Original Treasure Mart Mall in Kokomo is located in the historic Diamond Plate Glass building, which affords four floors and space for 70 vendors. Prices of articles on consignment are reduced by 10% each month, so returning shoppers find new items and new prices every time they go. The Treasure Mart Antiques Mall also has 70 vendors in 25,000 square feet on one level. Studio Black Antiques is not a mall per se but rather a large, quirky antique store that locals say is a must-see.
Vintage Treasures Antique Mall in Fort Wayne covers some 20,000 feet in a brightly lit open-concept space. Along with antiques and collectibles they offer vintage relics that they take pride in seeing their customers refurbish and put to new use.
The original owners of The Antique Market in Michigan City opened their store on their own property with 40 vendors in 1990. Since then the building has had multiple additions, and the number of vendors has grown from 40 to 140. They’ve won several “best antique store” awards, perhaps because they keep their offerings to antiques only—no flea- market items, nothing newer than 30 years old, no reproductions and no gift items.
Michigan City is also home to several other antique emporia. Try Good News Vintage for hand-picked and curated vintage finds, Hoity Toity (“fine to funky”) and Nanni’s Over the Fence for everything from farmhouse to mid- century modern, Victorian to industrial.
In Chesterton Yesterday’s Treasures offers everything from vinyl records and rare books to heirloom furniture, and they’ll go one better. They rent out their objects for photo shoots or parties, and they also maintain a gift registry and wish list. Three Wicked Apples carries antiques as well as gift items, and the I.S.O. Unique is a consignment shop with a constantly changing lineup of objects.
One of northern Indiana’s newest treasure troves is America’s Antique Mall in Highland. Within its 55,000 square feet you’ll find handmade goods, high-end art, home décor and more. There’s even a full-service cafe so you can spend an entire day here.