Looking for that Treasure…Let’s Go Antique Shopping!

May 1st, 2012

My mom and I just returned from a short trip to Branson, MO – where we were able to spend some great mother/daughter time together.  I was hoping to swing by an antique mall there that we came across a few years ago, but when we drove into the parking lot, we found that the entire strip center had been destroyed by the tornado that tore through Branson earlier this spring.  After taking some pictures of the devastation, I was still itching to get in some antiquing.  Unfortunately, because of timing, the antiques would have to wait until another day.

Hmmm – my mind began to wander and plan the next possible antique outing.  But because Dan and I work most weekends and he works a full-time job during the week, our time is limited on when we can get away.  That’s one of the many reasons I so look forward to our annual trip to Harpole’s Heartland Lodge.  We always leave early enough in the morning that we can hit a few antique stores along the way before checking into the lodge that afternoon.

Because of where we live, it’s very easy to drive up the Missouri side of the Mississippi River along Highway 79 – the scenic byway – and visit a couple of the small, quaint towns situated along the river.  One of our first stops is always the Clarksville Antique Center in Clarksville, Missouri.  We are not experts when it comes to antiques, and Dan has already made one pass through the mall before I ever get out of the first aisle, but with over 100 booths, display cases and vendors, it’s easy to lose track of time.  Over the years, they have expanded their display area and here, you will find everything from antique furniture, books, glassware and jewelry to vintage clothing.  Definitely something for everyone!

By now we’ve worked up an appetite – and our favorite place for lunch in Clarksville is Clarksville Station – located just a hop, skip and a jump from the antique center.  Great food, a great atmosphere and a unique gift shop will keep you coming back for more – but remember to eat light as the dinner served at the lodge is waiting for you!  And if you’re lucky, there will be fresh produce – locally grown – available during season outside for purchase.

But our visit to Clarksville wouldn’t be complete without stopping at The Bent Tree Gallery (www.thebenttree.com) – where willow tree furniture is the feature item – we dream of decorating our home someday with some of the products found here.  If time allows, you could also check out B.T. Dove Antiques and Richard’s Great Stuff as well as some of the other artisan shops (www.clarksvillemo.us/).  The artisan shops are a great attraction in Clarksville and probably deserve a blog completely of their own – maybe I’ll take a day and check them out soon!

Further north on Highway 79, in the town of Louisiana, MO, we usually stop at Katie’s Attic and Antiques, Blings & Things – both located on Georgia Street (www.louisiana-mo.com/v1).  Katie’s Attic has been around for as long as I can remember and I never fail to find an addition to one of our many collections.  As with Clarksville, there are many other great attractions and artists in town but I will focus on them another day.

Once we cross over the river at Louisiana and head east on IL Highway 54 – we’ll check our watches and if time allows, we’ll keep heading east toward Summer Hill, Illinois.  Along the way, we’ll stop at the Kozy Katz Antique Mall before reaching our ultimate goal – the Summer Hill Antique Mall in Summer Hill.  As I am an antique mall browser, time doesn’t always work on my side so we sometimes will swing by these on our way home from the lodge.

The places I have mentioned are just a few of our favorites – keep in mind we’ve been going to the lodge for 13 years now and have our routine down to a science.  But there are several other places I found while preparing this blog, including the Atlas Flea Market in Atlas, Barry Thrift Shop in Barry, Underground Railroad Antiques in New Salem, and Country Fixins Primitives & Antique Mall, Silver Dollar Antiques, and Suzie Q’s Antiques in Pittsfield – that would be worth checking out.  One at the top of my list is the Underground Railroad Antiques in New Salem, IL – just the name sounds interesting!  Visit www.pikeil.org/visit/shopping_in_pike_county.jsp for addresses and phone numbers – I always recommend calling ahead of time to ensure that a place is still in business and to check their hours of operation as many places are closed at least one day per week.

Whether you check out our favorites – or find your own – all of the shops and lunch spots are within a short driving distance from the lodge.  They make perfect day trips during your stay – or stops on your way home.  So with a little bit of planning – or a little bit of luck – maybe you will find that perfect piece of furniture, a hidden treasure or gem, or maybe just a little trinket!

Lori Biehl

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