|By Susan Emerson Nutter
ATWATER, OHIO — A Day in the Country, held the last weekend in September at the Portage County Randolph Fairgrounds, finds 50 dealers set-up outside under tents as well as within several fairground buildings.
Show managers Deb Willhite (Lake Girl Vintage) and her niece, Bessie Zinz (Besserina and Besserina’s Heirloom Pumpkins) have brought this event to Northeast Ohio for five years now, and couldn’t be more pleased with how the show has grown.
“We think we’ve hit the mark by keeping the event at 50 vendors,” Willhite said. “We are very aware of the mix we bring together, and make an effort to offer something for everyone while making it so vendors of a particular genre are not necessarily competing with another that offers the same.” Zinz added, “We also had many vendors and guests say there was a very peaceful vibe to the show this year which was just what we like to hear.”
To set the scene and get the buyers in the right mind-set, a vintage horse trailer found and restored by Zinz and a friend acted as the show’s ticket booth. An old pickup truck and a staged setting with country backdrop were ready to be part of any shoppers desire to capture an Instagram worthy moment.
And then there were the vendors. A Day in the Country is a nice mix of antique and vintage along with country décor, clothing, jewelry and the like.
Hennys Artiques of Akron, Ohio, brought furniture, scales, alarm clocks, candlesticks and everything in between to this event. A mid-century modern dresser complete with its original round mirror was a steal at $99. Its original stylized drawer handles were noteworthy. A two-door pine blind cupboard with paneled doors that stood approximately 5 feet tall was priced at $225.
Vintage candlestick ranged in price from $12 to $35 each. Big Ben and Baby Ben Westclox alarm clocks were on hand priced from $13 and upwards of $30. A wall map of Akron, Ohio, complete with the metal housing, was an affordable $75.
Show promoter Deb Willhite’s booth was overflowing with great kitschy pieces. Of special interest were two original paintings on paneled wood. One painting was of chickens, the other of an old train station. “These both came from my mother-in-law,” Willhite explains. “The chicken painting was in my husband’s nursery which just makes me laugh. I don’t think of it as being something someone would put in a nursery. But I just love it and the train station too. Both were done by the same artist; T. Haverfield, who I believe is an Ohio artist.” Each wore a $75 price tag with the chickens finding a new home during the show’s opening.
A well-built, folksy wooden house model with wooden shingles, clapboard siding and what appeared to have once been an old chair spindle attached to represent a chimney was a charmer at $42, as were the older metal toy trucks. A larger blue Tonka example was $28; a smaller blue truck priced $20, while a Tonka metal horse trailer could be had for $15. Vintage Christmas – from lights to Santa’s to reindeer were available. Antique quilts, tablecloths, fabric were priced to sell; for example, a vintage Pendelton red plaid blanket was $35. Metal fishing tackle boxes in blue and gray were priced between $10 and $18, while a copper kettle wearing great green patina with a sturdy handle was tagged $100.
Marshall’s Antique Warehouse of Canton, Ohio, always fills their dealer space with salvaged architectural treatments and sizable antique furniture. An 8-foot high cupboard that broke into two pieces was priced $1,200. Architectural corbels were also in abundance in this dealer space with most being priced $150 each. Long wooden benches with bootjack ends were a steal at $45 each.
A restored Shasta trailer was the dealer space of The Vintage Empress from Canton, Ohio. Though two displays were set-up outside of the trailer, show attendees were invited inside the Shasta to shop as well. Vendor Julie Criswell restored the trailer to use for shows stating, “I’m not much of a camper, actually, but it is great to take to events such as this.” Offered was a 1920s child’s step back cupboard for $85; Big Little Books priced $15 your choice, and a large leather doctor’s bag was available for $40.
Extending Grace Antiques & Vintage (Hubbard, Ohio) brought just a sampling of what their large brick and mortar shop has to offer. “We haven’t done a show in some time,” Devon Cretella and Susan Mocker explained, “And we are having great fun.” This dealer space offered both antiques and home décor with a fantastic metal, multi-cubby priced $110. Each cubbyhole was then filled with smaller vintage items such as a variety of hotel and restaurant creamers; an example with a green stripe was $6, small bundles of silver-plate spoons ($10), and glass souvenir paperweights. One paperweight with an image of Westminster Academy and the handwritten words “Erected Jan 24, 1888” was $12. The cubby sat atop a sweet wicker table tagged $120.
Elderberry Hill Vintage of Louisville, Ohio, brought along a complete Wolverine Happy Time pink metal kitchen set consisting of a stove, sink, and refrigerator. Marked “Sears; Roebuck & Co.” and “Made in the USA,” the set was priced $60. A small Snow White refrigerator was also available for $14.
Vintage Girl Estate Sales of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was also on site. The group works with Rahab Ministries to help young women facing challenges; the women in turn make repurposed furniture to sell. A Nystrom raised relief globe in excellent condition was tagged $35, while two vintage tiger maple side chairs wearing their original caned seats were a bargain at $22 each. A child’s red metal rocking chair wearing a decal of a panda bear playing a drum was $62. And a stack of Pyrex mixing bowls from yellow to green, red, and blue was priced $52.
J. Tim Best aka “The Table Guy” of Beaver, Pa., had more than just tables. His dealer space also included a farmhouse single blind door cupboard in white paint marked $130; a large wooden tool carrier with dowel handle priced $75; and a small bucket bench with bootjack ends, two shelves, and back splash, but missing its door was $175.