Roadtrippin’: Ohio back to Chicago

On the 3rd day of Albert & I’s recent road trip to Indianapolis & Columbus, Ohio we decided to stop at towns along the way back to Chicago (READ PART 1 HERE). We decided to stop at 3 antique malls in Springfield, Ohio but decided that antique malls are not the best place for us to shop, mainly because they are HUGE, often contain rows and rows of glass cases (which makes it hard to browse and to remember where we saw something) and prices are exorbitant.
The photo of me in the sleigh above and below were taken in front of the largest antique mall either of us had ever experienced, The Heart of Ohio Antique Mall. It bills itself as the “Biggest and Best Antique Mall in America” and I’d have to agree that it is indeed the biggest. It contains 650 dealers spread out over 116,000 square feet and is endorsed by Martha Stewart herself. There is even a cafe inside of it in case you get weak from browsing too many antiques.
The mall is so large that there is an employee assigned to each section to ‘guard’ the items and to let you into the cases. While it was convenient to have someone open the cases for me, the guards made me nervous and the experience was a little too Panopticon for my tastes.
Since there were guards roaming I had to be extra sneaky about taking photos with my phone. There were definitely some fun items to be had, everything from 1950s dinette sets to a chair made of horns (both pictured below) but the prices were unfortunately the main deterrant. I know I’ve been complaining about the prices a lot in this post and the last but when you’re visiting a smaller town it’s reasonable to expect that items would be less expensive than in a city. I’m pretty sure ebay and online selling has ruined the experience of finding treasures in hole-in-the-wall places, everyone knows what they have now. Too bad I’m too young to have experienced the glory days of vintage in the 1980s and 1990s before MCM became big and one could find 1950s clothing for a few dollars. Guess I’ll be sticking to thrift stores/garage sales/estate sales from now on!


Isn’t the above Easter Chick super creepy and sad (I apologize to any vegetarians reading this post). I actually came across a similar one at an estate sale and thought it was a stuffed (plush) animal and was sickened to discover it was a real chick. I’d like to emphasize that I have nothing again taxidermy but it was odd to think a BABY animal would be preserved in this way– I’ll pretend that it had a natural death.
As I pride myself on being a bit of a foodie (I used to write restaurant reviews when I lived in L.A. for and; it’s embarrassing to admit how much I adore Sonic and Chick-fil-a, both fast food chains that are not in Chicago. When I heard that Chick-fil-a is supposed to be opening here within the next year I was inordinately excited! Let’s see how long it actually takes to open, don’t want to get my hopes up yet. I was amused to find that Sonic is now offering a Chicago-style dog, it looks pretty authentic. We were there for breakfast otherwise I would have tried one for a taste comparison.

Of course the last set of stores we visited were the most fruitful. We saw a sign (for yet another antique mall) from the freeway and decided to stop in the town of Greenfield, Indiana. Unfortunately the antique mall wasn’t our style but just down the road we found 3 slightly junky shops that were! In one of the shops a dealer was having a going out of business sale so all of her low priced items were fifty percent off. When we were checking out, the dealer told us to head down to another store that bought estate lots and also was the local pawnbroker.

The last stop was the best for Albert–he collects vintage photographs/snapshots–as a whole room was packed with piles of photos and ephemera. We were there a better part of an hour digging through them and poking into the corners of the shop. Prices were also low so we left feeling happy and satisfied.
Next post I’ll be showing photos of ‘the haul’ along with scans of some of the vintage photographs that Albert bought.
Are you from Ohio or Indiana? Any ideas on where we SHOULD have stopped? While we still had fun on the trip it took more effort than expected to find items at a fair price.


Comments 0

  1. I'm with you on the price thing Leilani – I rarely visit the malls and stores because of the prices, I stick to garage and estate sales and the occasional thrift store jaunt.

    If you come back to Ohio there is one other area that I can recommend – Hocking Hills. It is a couple hours south of Columbus down 33. I had a space one summer in the Antique Barn, and a lot of things there are very reasonably priced. The larger mall just behind it is more expensive. There is also a shop in Logan, I think it is called the Artisan Mall, that has a good "basement" of junk at good prices.

    If you go plan to stay the night, there are a lot of great cabins with hot tubs! hehe If you are into hiking there are a lot of good spots down there for that too.

  2. Thrifting has been so awful in the Chicago area, that I think I need to do a road trip too, and see some new junk! I love that turquoise set, and I want that huge thing with all of the little mailboxes, so I can get organized!

  3. Great post!! I am planning on doing a few mini road trips like this this summer and this was prefect to find out where I should and shouldn't stop! 🙂

    I don't mind one bit if you want to use a picture or two. Take whatever you like!


  4. You've got an eye for curious pretties. That is the first stuffed chick I've ever seen. Taxidermy is so creepy – it always makes me stare for a while like I am a little kid in the natural history museum all over again 🙂

  5. That sleigh looks amazing.

    I love the idea of going on a road trip (either in the UK, Europe or the US) but in reality it's always easier to find bargains in your home town when you know exactly where and when to go thrifting! All my best finds seem to come from places in London, which is crazy as i think it's probably the most expensive place to buy vintage x

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