Mid-America News - MAY 2018




Elsie Bell's Antique Mall opens in Independence

An eclectic selection of items available at the new Elsie Bell's Antique Mall in Independence. (photo courtesy Deb Miles)

There's a new antique mall in town. Elsie Bell's Antique Mall is now open at the intersection of 23rd Street and Crysler Avenue in Independence near Crysler Stadium. Elsie Bell's specializes in antiques, vintage items, barn finds, shabby furniture, retro and kitsch. It's built on 15 years' experience in the art of selling at Elsie Bell's South in Palatka, FL.

"Our daughter moved to Kansas City and every time we visited we fell more and more in love with the area," said Deb Miles, owner of both Elsie Bell's North and South. "When we found the perfect building in Independence, we jumped at the chance to own it."

Formerly housing Medic House, the 7,000 sq. ft. structure is now home to the unusual – yachting flags, maître d' figurines that hold hidden corkscrews, 1950s dollhouse furniture, NASCAR banners, stately mahogany furniture, chippy pink dressers, well-loved old toys and lots more.

"We were taking a chance because we didn't know the area that well," said Miles, "But Independence welcomed us with open arms. We rent space to antiques dealers and, a week after our grand opening on April 7; we only had five and a half spaces left. The glass cases and open shelves are completely spoken for except for a top shelf that is rather hard to reach. And our dealers are bringing in unexpected surprises every day!"

Elsie Bell's goal is to have something for everyone, particularly those who seek out the unusual. "And, yes, we also have beautiful furniture and English teacups for the purists out there," Miles said.

In Florida, Elsie Bell's has won the People's Choice award for antiques shops every year since the Palatka Daily News instituted the award in 2007. The Independence store is twice as large and will serve a population about 10 times as large.

"It seemed like a smart business move," said Miles.

Elsie Bell's is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday. The address is 1101 S. Crysler Ave. Call 816-832-8711 or visit www.elsiebellsantiquemalls.com for more details.


Jamesport readies for May Days Festival

They are ready for spring in Jamesport. And to celebrate its arrival the Jamesport Community Association has designated May 11-12 as the official May Days Festival in

A variety of activities are planned for the weekend in the town that is centered in the largest community of Old Order Amish west of the Mississippi River. A craft and antique show will be held in the Spillman Event Center, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Lots of food including kettle corn will be available during the festival.

Stroll the streets or ride in a convenient tram on Saturday. The town is home to a wide selection of antique and vintage shops. Some of the surrounding Amish farms are open to the public as well. As they say in Jamesport, "Come and step back in time."

For more information go to the website, www.jamesportmissouri.info or call 660-684-6146.



Bottoms Up weekend May 4-5

Architectural features like these are just a few of the treasures that await shoppers at Bottoms Up Antiques in Kansas City's West Bottoms on the first Friday and Saturday of May. It occupies several floors of the old Stowe Hardware building at 1300 W. 13th St. Other vintage stores in the area are also open, helping to create a festive atmosphere throughout the West Bottoms, complete with food trucks. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Friday May 4 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, May 5. (photo by Leigh Elmore)



North Kansas City commemorates former Palmer House Hotel

A view of the old Palmer House Hotel in North Kansas City. (photo courtesy Historical Society of North Kansas City)

The flatiron design Palmer House, a former hotel in North Kansas City, has been commemorated with a historical marker. MTS Contracting, Inc., which specializes in repair and restoration of historic buildings, is the current owner of the location at 1017 Swift St. From around 1887 to 1973 the site was home to the Palmer House. Pioneer Willard Winner built the structure to welcome people to the Northland. The iconic flatiron building later became a low-cost apartment location for NKC workers. It was razed in 1973.

The dedication was made possible by funding from North Kansas City, the historical society and resident Darlene Smith. Ms. Smith is now 94 years old and remembers playing at the Palmer House as a child, according to James A. Spawn of the historical society.



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Abilene to hold its first Antique Fest

All sorts of treasures will be available at the first-ever Abilene Antique Fest on May 12. (photo courtesy Ann Brussow)

The city of Abilene will hold an Antique Fest on May 12, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Five blocks of downtown Abilene will be set aside for the event. Outdoor space for up to 100 vendors will be available and booth spaces are still for sale.

 Mud Creek Antique Mall and the Abilene Downtown Antique Mall are sponsoring this event. 
"This is our first year to hold this event," said Ann Brussow, one of the organizers. "We plan to hold it annually going forward. It will be a great day to stroll historic downtown Abilene to shop the outdoor vendors and visit all of the existing antique shops. Abilene already is a good draw for antique shoppers with eight antique stores. There are over 150 vendors in the shops," she said.
Shoppers can expect to find antiques, vintage and repurposed items and retro décor. Food vendors will also be on site.

For more information or to inquire about renting a booth send an e-mail to abileneantiquefest@gmail.com or find the event on Facebook.



It's the 36th year for the Sparks Flea Market

Vendors will be camped for the weekend May 3-6 at the Sparks Flea Market. (photo courtesy Sparks Flea Market)

One of the area's largest and favorite flea markets will open for its 36th year in Sparks the weekend of May 3-6. Organizers expect 500 dealers, 450 of whom will deal in antiques and vintage merchandise.

Started in 1982, this market is strategically located because it is right in the path of several other markets along the way, which are held the same weekend. Together they draw 75,000 people looking for treasures.

"When touring this market, there is plenty of food available either at the market or around the area," said Ed Mez, an organizer. "There are 16 food vendors serving Mexican, German, Indian and barbecue. Of course, there are still the favorites - like hot dogs, hamburgers and tenderloins that are out of this planet," he said.

Sparks is located in northeast Kansas, 11 miles north of White Cloud and 23 miles west of St. Joseph. Campsites and conventional parking will be available.

For more information or to inquire about renting space, contact Ray Tackett at 785-985-2411.



Sunflower Piecemakers plan quilt show

This quilt in patriotic colors is just one of the quilts that will be on display and for sale at the Sunflower Quilt Show, May 5 in Lansing. (photo courtesy Sunflower Piecemakers Quilt Guild)

It's been a long cold winter and the members of the Sunflower Piecemakers Quilt Guild hope that cabin fever will encourage people to get out of the house and attend the 23rd Annual Sunflower Piecemakers Quilt Show, Saturday, May 5, in Lansing. The show will be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Lansing Activity Center; 108 S. 2nd St. Admission is free.

This year the show features the "Quilted Chair Affair," which will showcase chairs that have been reupholstered in quilt blocks or painted in the same manner as barn quilts. Some of the chairs are for exhibit only and some will be for sale. Purchases may be made after 10 a.m.

Members of the guild from the Leavenworth/Lansing community will have lots of new quilts on display. Also, a boutique will offer vintage items and new and used books and magazines will be for sale.

Raffle tickets for the "Awesome Opportunity Quilt" will be on sale, the proceeds of which support the guild's guest speakers and workshops. The vendor mall will offer a wide variety of quilting and sewing items including bobbin jewelry and much more.



Brew, blues and barbecue on tap for Lansing Daze

(image courtesy ClipartPanda.com)

It's going to be a big weekend in Lansing May 4-5. That's the weekend set for Lansing Daze, a full weekend of barbecue "makin' the smoke" and live music. Yes, you'll be able to get a cold brew or two as well provided by Free State Beer.

Musical acts include Truckstop Honeymoon and Sky Sneed on Friday. Saturday's acts include Split Decision. A motorcycle show is also set for that day.

Families are welcome and there will be rides, inflatables and a petting zoo for the kids. It all caps off with a special southern rock themed fireworks show.

The action takes place at Kenneth W. Bernard Park, 15650 Gilman Rd.




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Fairgrounds will be filled at the What Cheer Flea Market

People and well-behaved pets will be welcome at the What Cheer Flea Market, May 4-6. (Photo courtesy What Cheer Flea Market)

What Cheer Flea Market is a four-day event being held from May 4-6 at the Keokuk County Fairgrounds in the town of What Cheer. Early bird shopping will be held on Thursday, May 3. This event showcases products like antiques, collectibles, old tools, primitives, post cards glassware, stamps, coins, jewelry, furniture, baseball cards, gems and jewelry, gifts and handicrafts industries.

This has been listed as one of the 11 best flea markets in the Midwest and it has a long tradition.
For more information go to www.whatcheerfleamarket.com.



Tour central Iowa on the Back Roads Junk-It Trail

There's a whole lot of vintage up for grabs at the Back Roads Junk-It Trail, May 18-20, near Marshalltown. (photo courtesy Back Roads Junk-It Trail)

Get the car gassed up and grab your shopping buddies for a full three-day tour of central Iowa back roads around Marshalltown on the Back Roads Junk-It Trail. It gets going the weekend of May 18-20.

Travelers will be in the market for antiques, vintage items, rustic stuff, primitives, retro, rusty and whatever sellers put out. There will be 30 stops that include brick and mortar antique shops, barns, pop-up shops and plenty of sales.

Maps will be available on May 1 on the Back Roads Junk- It Trail Facebook page and at all participating businesses. For more information email backroadsjunk@gmail.com.




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Van Buren Junk Fest attracts thousands

There's no reason not to smile when the Junk Fest returns to downtown Van Buren, May 26-27. (photo courtesy Van Buren Advertising and Promotion Commission)

The second annual Junk Fest returns to downtown Van Buren on Memorial Day weekend, May 26-27; the first Junk Fest was held last year during Labor Day weekend. Organizers with the Van Buren Advertising and Promotion Commission expect to attract mountain bikers, repurposed furniture collectors and steampunk conventioneers.

Van Buren's Junk Fest attracted an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 people over two days last year, said Maryl Purvis, Van Buren A&P executive director.

And if you need the definition: "Steampunk is modern technology powered by steam power, cogs and wheels and set in the 1800s with a backdrop of Victorian England or America's Wild West," organizers report.

The Downtown Junk Fest will feature more vendors with vintage, re-purposed, antique, salvaged, farmhouse and rustic items. The festival will include three stages of live music, food trucks, store shopping, and more.

For more information or a vendor application go to their Facebook page at Downtown Junk Fest or email downtownjunkfestvb@gmail.com.



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Tell us what?s happening in your area. Our readers want to know. Discover Vintage America welcomes news on festivals, antique and craft shows, historical related events, art sows, shop/mall anniversaries and new openings, and ownership changes, and events that attract folks to the rich history of America. Press releaes and photos are welcome. Email editor@discoverypub.com, fax at 816-474-1427 or find us on Facebook.