By Jack Kelly
“The perfect combination of balmy July temperatures and a light breeze came together to make for our biggest dealer and visitor count,” said a smiling Bob Zurko, promoter of the summertime event.
Shoppers and vendors alike agreed with his assessment as they browsed or set up for the Sunday, July 9, 2017 Antique Vintage Flea Market held at the St. Joseph County-Grange Fairgrounds in Centreville, Michigan.
And, while some vendors set up just to sell, others used the show to also promote their own individual shops and malls. Gary Petelle of Churubusco, Ind., 15 miles northwest of Fort Wayne showed off a fancy 18-inch-long commericial cast iron Bonanza apple peeler priced at $295. At the same spot, a 24-inch-tall Jardiniere and pedestal with daffodill flower pattern could grace your home for $365.
The dealer opened his shop, Gary’s on Main in Churbusco in 2015 and hours are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4p.m. and “by chance or appointment” at other times. He called attention to “lots more dealers and shoppers” at Centreville in July.
More than 350 items including 1890s R.S. Prussia, Waterford Crystal, Lalique vases, depression glass and fine pottery filled the outdoor tent manned by Jeff Botruff, Cutlerville Antiques and Collectibles, Grand Rapids, Michigan. The dealer said they were priced from $5 to $250 each and were “just a sample of the items offered in his shop.
“Those shades are outlandishly gorgeous” gushed one shopper pointing to a matching pair of 3-foot-tall 1950s lamps, with wavy shades. They were tagged $65 for the pair by Lori West, proprietor of Jive Junction, Galesburg, Mich. The dealer said she opened the shop in “in a small storefront” on Mother’s Day weekend adding “it’s going well.” Her business card reads, “an eclectic mix of vintage, re-purposed and jazzy junk.”
Also from Galesburg, Ken and Karen Mahaffay have a spot at Burgess Antique Mall, downtown Galesburg. They are five-year Centreville dealers and called attention to “regular customers” adding that promoter Bob Zurko is “easy and fair to work with.” Scale collectors checked out their early 1900s cast iron and brass Fairbanks Scale number 2, priced at $125. Catching many an eye was a late 1800s cast iron collar crimper offered at $95. “I asked my wife to crimp my collar with the device,” said Ken, chuckling, “But I just got ignored.” “
Mark it sold,” said dealer Jim Dykstra of Coldwater, Mich., pointing to a 1940s Marx wind-up tin “Sparks” race car with a price tag of $125. The dealer also offered a 12-inch-tall 1940s pewter pitcher “in need of some loving care” for $29.
Morton and Kathleen Tucker traveled to the show from Hobart, Ind., and offered antiques and collectibles in a wide price range. A good looking 1962 black Illinois Bell telephone that Tucker said “works like a champ” could dial up at your home for $60. Foot traffic stopped at their booth to admire a 5-foot-tall fancy brass and cast iron floor lamp with original shade priced at $600.
Carol Lindsey of Delton, Mich., has been setting up at the Centreville market “on and off for 25 years.” Primitive collectors admired her early 1900s square nail construction table measuring a whopping 12-feet-long and priced at $250. Others checked out her 30 by-33-inch hardrock maple butcher block table tagged at $450. A 28-inch-long butcher cleaver perched along side the massive table could be taken home – and used – for $125.
“I’ve got about a thousand books for sale here at Centreville and another quarter million back at home,” said book dealer Denny Olson of Vicksburg, Mich. He pointed out two of his favorites: A 1908 hardcover “Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz” priced at $200 and a 1939 hardcover “Nicodemus and the Gang” that could also be read and displayed for $200. Others at his booth were priced at $1 and up.
“I love to buy military items – and sell them too,” said dealer Ed Danaher of Jones, Mich. Sword collectors checked out his World War II german police sword and an 1840 Civil War artillery model priced at $650 each. A collection of WWII knives were offered for $20 to $500 each. The dealer said he enjoyed good luck in July both buying and selling at the fairgrounds show.
Among the many shoppers at the Centreville market were Three Rivers, Mich., residents Brian and Elizabeth Dangelo and 19-month-old son Oliver, who was carried on dad’s back with an awning-top backpack. “We usually come to every show,” said Brian, adding,”We’re looking for items for our finished basement.” The tiny tot seemed very comfortable on Poppa’s back.
The next Centreville Michigan Antique Vintage Flea Market is scheduled Aug. 13 at the St. Joseph County Fairgrounds at Centreville, Mich., just south of Kalamazoo. “And we expect shoppers from the big Michigan highway U.S. 12 statewide garage sale that stretches from Detroit to New Buffalo on that same weekend,” said promoter Zurko. He added, “We’re just 12 miles north of Sturgis, Michigan, part of the trail for that big event.” For more information call 715-526-9769 or www.zurkopromotions.com.