I have been hearing about Adamstown, PA from other antique enthusiasts and decided to check it out myself this past Sunday. Adamstown is known as the antique capital of the USA for good reason. There are over 1000 dealers along a 7 mile stretch of Rt. 272. From Central West NJ where I live, it took approximately 1 and 1/2 hours to drive there on the PA Turnpike to Exit 286. Sunday was the end of the September Antiques Extravaganza event in Adamstown, an event held three times a year in April-May, June and September.
Sunday was a perfect day for antiquing, with the temperature in the low 70's, a little bit cloudy skies and a light breeze. With the huge number of antique markets, shops, malls, co-ops and outside vendors offering antiques and collectibles, it is virtually impossible to see everything in one day. I will tell you about the places I saw on Sunday, and I am definitely planning to go back another time to see more of the Adamstown antique world.
My first stop was the Adamstown Antique Mall. This is a large antique mall, also with an outdoor flea market. At the outdoor flea market I got a couple of antique crocks which are destined for my booth at Rosebush Antiques in Langhorne, PA. Inside the mall I found a Coca-Cola lighted fountain building for my own colletion of lighted buildings I put out with my train at Christmas time. I also got a terrific antique pitcher and wash basin there..
My next stop was Renninger's Antique Market, with indoor booths and outdoor tables. This center seems larger to me than the Adamstown Antique Mall. At the outdoor booths I got an antique hand mirror and two small wall mirrors. In addition, I found a beautiful brown bean pot that still has its lid, for a great price too. While strolling the outdoor market, I also bought a mahogany end table with a shelf and book rack. Indoors, there were lots of booths with furniture, pottery, glassware, vintage clothing, toys, and more and much more!
Then I went to Shupp's Grove Antique Market. This is an outdoor market in a large grove of trees offering shade for the customers and vendors. The grove area is fenced in and gated and many booths have plywood flooring and large tents with flaps to close when they are closed. They leave the merchandise there and do not have to haul it to and fro every weekend! Of course there is also the usual assortment of table vendors you might see at a flea market. It took me more than two hours to stroll the Shupp's Grove. This is definitely a must see if you go to Adamstown, but beware of the tree roots at ground level. I tripped on a few because I was looking at the merchandise, rather than the ground I was walking on.
At this delightful grove, I found a precious doll cradle and an adorable Shaker pine plank seat nursing rocking chair with painted decorations on the back, front of the seat, and rocker blades. When I turned it over, I found that it was signed "C.S. Breneman, May 20th 1933, Lancaster." I also bought a few smaller items.
Next stop: the Mad Hatter Antique Mall and their sister shop, the Pine Hills Antique Mall. While there was some furniture at these malls, most of the vendors offer small items for sale, with lots of glass showcases in addition to the vendor booths. I found a white ironstone platter and a pine hand mirror for good prices. I also got a pair of cobalt blue glass candlesticks and a couple of jadite pieces.
I know I bought more than I have mentioned and I will have fun rediscovering these pieces as I unpack my boxes and bags! While I really enjoyed this antiquing trip, I am still exhausted from the many hours of walking around the malls and booths. For me, Adamstown will likely become a two or three times a year outing. I still love the convenience of the more local antique sources for weekly visits.
Please share your experiences and fave spots for antiquing with me and my other readers.