By SUSAN MELLISH
(See more photos at end of story.)
SALEM, Ohio – “Hey it’s great to see you back this year,” was a phrase often heard between both patrons and dealers at the 46th annual Salem Kiwanis Club Antique & Craft Sale & Show held July 17 in Centennial Park
Honestly, there is no better setting for an antique show than the tree-filled, rolling landscape of Salem’s Centennial Park. Under the shade of the huge maples, oaks and ash trees the temperature was easily 10 degrees cooler. Not only does this guarantee happy dealers, it brings shoppers out in droves.
Dealer spaces numbered past the 130 mark this year with the antiques to crafts vendors being about 2-to-1. Several dealers also mixed old with new so there was something for everyone.
Being an antique enthusiast, I remember when this show actually filled the entire park, both the upper and lower levels, and the dealers only offered antiques. I get nostalgic for those days. However, I am happy this sale still takes place, and hope the promoters continue to make attracting antique dealers their number one priority.
Walking through the show, I visited the booths of several dealers who have been setting up at this event for many years. One dealer, an avid collector of all things related to Isaly’s, was again in attendance.
He has used the show to help disperse his huge collection of Isaly-related pieces and said his collection is just about sold out. The Kiwanis show has played a big role in that.
Area collectors know this too. The Salem Kiwanis Club Antique & Craft Sale & Show is a place where a person can buy. Prices are reasonable and the merchandise is a nice mix.
Yes, there are antique dealers here who count this event one of many in a litany of shows they attend each year. However, there are just as many “everyday folk” who set up only at this show. Collectors know this and hope to possibly find treasures that have not been shown anywhere else but at this Kiwanis Club event.
Karen Whitehill of Salem is just that person. Her booth display gave no indication this is the only antique show where she acts as a vendor. It was very professionally dressed out. However, Whitehall is not a dealer. Instead she uses this event to help sell household items her family no longer wants. And, it’s working.
Offered in Whitehill’s booth was an extensive collection of salt dips. “My mother had more than 300 of these,” she said. Those left were offered for a reasonable price of $8 each.
Another “cool” collection was the assortment of lawn sprinklers found in the booth of Antiques R Us of Coraopolis, Pa. A smaller version having an octagon base and propeller like sprinkler arms was tagged $35.
I was surprised at the amount of furniture offered at this year’s event. And, none were better than the pieces housed in the dealer space of The Western Reserve Antique Shop of Canfield, Ohio. Though the majority of the furniture here was child-size, absolutely everything in this booth was spot-on great.
An early (1800s) child’s stepback cupboard in old green paint was priced $1,295. The cupboard was 40 inches tall and was very well-proportioned. A child’s pine blanket chest with a cutout base was tagged $950, as was a child’s early jelly cupboard having two drawers, two doors and a backsplash.
How often do you run across 100 feet of vintage wrought iron fence? Dan-tiques of Wellsville, Ohio offered this perfect garden accent for $1,500 complete with free delivery. Also found here was a child-themed decorated oilcloth floor covering from the 1930s. This play mat measured 36 by 37 inches and was a reasonable $45.
Rich & Ann’s Past Times & Bloomers (they are also a greenhouse) of Pulaski, Pa. showed an elaborately carved walnut mantel priced at $595. A hand-carved wooden tray with a glass covering was $50, while a spoon-carved oak washstand with two drawers and two doors was $185.
Two nonprofits took advantage of the Kiwanis sale to both promote and raise money for their organizations. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore pulled items from their business’ storefront to attract people to their dealer space and to promote their cause of providing affordable housing for people in need.
The Salem Historical Society also participated in the show, selling handmade wooden items crafted by Dale Shaffer, Salem’s well known local historian who passed away recently. His obituary stated, “During the past two decades Shaffer devoted much of his time researching and writing Salem history, preserving it for future generations. His 27 books covered a wide spectrum of the city’s past — its people, buildings, events, industries, stores and nostalgia.”
Money raised by this group will be used to maintain the Society’s museum, among other interests.
Watching the crowds ebb and flow through the show, it was apparent lots of buying was taking place, which was great to see. Some large items, like the sleigh in Roy Hartley’s (North Lima, Ohio) space, found new homes.
Smaller items like the decorated metal lunch basket I witnessed selling for $5 were more commonplace. Regardless, money was exchanging hands guaranteeing this Salem Kiwanis Club Antique & Craft event will see another year. And, that made my day.
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