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Discover Mid-America — April 2007

Destinations 2007
— The places to visit, shop,
learn and enjoy

by Terri Baumgardner, Ken Weyand
and Bruce Rodgers


Paramount Antique Mall
13200 W Hwy 54 (Kellogg)
Wichita, KS

Paramount Antique Mall is a perennial winner in our annual Destinations survey and prior to that recognized in the Discover Mid-America Best Of contest (replaced by Destinations). The steady streak of acknowledgement is deserved. Manager Diane Vaughan puts the credit squarely on the dealers.

“The antique dealers here are truly passionate about what they do,” she said. “You can feel it when you walk in the door. There always someone courteous, knowledgeable and genuinely interested in assisting you.”

Paramount, with 40,000 square feet, 225 booths and over 175 dealers, has a “constantly changing array of antiques, furniture” — yes, European furniture about 10 dealers have regular offerings — “along with Depression glassware/pottery, accessories, jewelry and adornments,” said Vaughan.

Upcoming are the Spring Outdoor Flea Markets scheduled for April 22, May 20 and June 17. Paramount is open seven days a week; layaway is available.

Runner-up: Mission Road Antique Mall


Mission Road Antique Mall
4101 W. 83rd Street
Prairie Village, KS

Mission Road Antique Mall hosts more than 300 dealers with 350 booth spaces and cases. Although the antique mall features a wide range of antiques, it is noted as a destination for American furniture.

"We attract the area's finest dealers, we have a high standard for our dealers," said Carey Ward, co-owner. "And, it's predominately known for being a furniture mall."

Although the Mission Road Antique Mall has been in business since 1994, Ward purchased the company about two years ago. Ward, who worked at the mall as a manager, seized the opportunity to launch her own business when the operation went up for sale.

Upcoming Events include a celebration of the 1938 Kentucky Derby winner, Lawrin, on May 5. The mall originally was built as a horse stable known as Woolford Farm and many of the stalls are still intact inside the mall. Lawrin was born and bred at the farm.

The celebration will include a viewing of the 1938 Kentucky Derby as well as this year's event. The Mission Road Antique Mall will host a ribbon cutting, dedicating the second floor as Lawrin's Loft. Other activities include a fashion show, pony rides, a display of antique cars and Kentucky Derby memorabilia.

Runner-up: Banowetz Antique Mall

Foundation Architectural Reclamation
1221 Union Avenue
Kansas City, MO

Whether it's vintage doors, doorknobs, windows or other historic monuments for homes and commercial buildings a customer seeks, the Foundation Architectural Reclamation is sure to have it. And if an artifact item has not been salvaged, the Foundation can build it.

"We build door frames so re-use of doors are made simple for contractors," said Patrick Ottesen, who opened his shop last March.

"A lot of salvage shops are not like that, services are a huge part of the Foundation. We also recycle wood to make windows, doors, and screen doors — make new items that look old. We use old-growth pine; it's environmentally responsible. We're trying to push the green agenda and fuse it with the responsibility of salvage and reuse."

Ottesen attended the Chicago Architectural School to become an architect. But after years of working for a Kansas City firm, he joined forces with a preservationist and developer to launch his own business.

Situated in the historic West Bottoms of Kansas City near the railroad yard and Missouri River, the Foundation is housed in a 1904 factory designed of brick masonry.

Upcoming events include an art & crafts and antique bazaar, which will be held every third Friday beginning April 20.

The Foundation will produce an architectural art and design show to promote artisans from Sept. 21 through the 23rd. The show will highlight Kansas City area artists as well as professionals from other areas, such as Chicago and New York. The arts will include stain glass, wallpaper, furniture and textiles.

For more information on events, visit the Foundation's websites.

Runner-up: Christopher Filley Antiques

W.D. Pickers Antique Mall
I-29 Exit 20 (Atchison, Weston & Leavenworth exit)
Platte City, MO

Greg Wiley, owner-manager of W.D. Pickers, said the 10,000-square foot mall has a large selection of primitives and early Americana in six booths.

“Wayne Wormsley, a dealer, stocks lots of early crockery, stoneware, wooden bowls and other woodenware, baskets, and other items,” Wiley said. “Wormsley has been with the mall since we opened — 14 years ago this month.”

Wiley was not surprised Discover’s readers recognized the large selection of primitives at W. D. Pickers.

“Primitives divide into both antiques and collectibles,” he said. “Unlike many malls that deal with newer items, we’ve made an effort over the years to sell older antiques. It’s a quality thing, and I think our customers appreciate that. It’s made us a destination for antiquers seeking all types of items, from old advertising to quilts and linens.”

Wiley said the mall has 120 dealers in 80 booths. Special promotions are held at various times during the year, including the popular Green Tag sales.

Local events bring in many customers, Wiley said. The biggest is the Platte County R-III Antique Show, held in the spring and fall at the nearby high school.

“Weston (MO) events always bring new customers our way,” he said. “Our mall is right on the way to Weston.”

Runner-up: River Market Antique Mall

Paramount Antique Mall
13200 W Hwy 54 (Kellogg)
Wichita, KS

Paramount Antique Mall was also recognized in the Housewares category (glassware, pottery, smalls, home décor, etc.).

Mall manager Diane Vaughan points to Jean and Martin Eagan as one of the mall’s exceptional dealers in housewares.

“They handle antique pottery and sell a lot of it,” said Vaughan. “Also, they are one of the mall’s original dealers, coming here in 1999.”

Vaughan said that the Eagans are representative of what Paramount is about. “Our reputable dealers are continuously on the hunt to find the most interesting antiques and vintage items from every era of the 20th century. Our selection is unbelievable and the prices are reasonable.”

Runner-up: Pigeon West Antiques

David R. Spivey Rare Books,
Maps & Fine Arts

825 Westport Road
Kansas City, MO

Considered a Kansas City landmark for history enthusiasts, David R. Spivey Rare Books, Maps and Fine Arts is a destination of historic items.

"A lot of things we carry are of historical importance," said Hans Bremer, who manages the shop. "Such as maps of various countries going back centuries. Documents, we have one signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. And, there are things unique to the area. We carry Thomas Hart Benton and Harry Truman items. Spivey was listed in Architectural Digest recently for art and maps for offices and homes."

Spivey was a rare book and fine art collector before he opened his shop in 1981. Bremer was a rare book collector who owned his own shop before managing Spivey's shop.

Situated in the historic Westport district, Spivey's shop is located in a shopping area near antique shops, one-of-a-kind shops and unique eateries.

Although Spivey's rarely holds events or sales, the shop does participate in book fairs throughout the United States. Check the website for more information as it becomes available.

Runner-up: Jesse James Antique Mall

Lexington, MO
Approximately 50 miles east of Kansas City on Highway 24.

Lexington is one of those special Midwestern towns that people return to time and again. Founded in 1822 atop bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, it was the river that brought life and commerce to Lexington.

Still possessing a distinctly “gracious Southern heritage,” Lexington was the site of a significant Civil War battle, the three-day Battle of the Hemp Bales, waged in September 1861. A museum, visitors center and the Oliver Anderson House, which served as a hospital during the battle, sit on one of the battle sites. The house changed from Union to Confederate forces three times. The Lafayette County Courthouse, built in 1847-49 — still in use — has a cannonball embedded in the east column as a relic of the Confederate victory.

Lexington has more pre-Civil War homes and buildings than any other community regardless of size in the state of Missouri, over 120, and numerous quaint and comfortable Bed & Breakfast inns.

For antiquers and day-trippers looking for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, Lexington has dozens of antique dealers and specialty shops.

“The combination of what we have is what no one else has,” said Anne Crume, executive director of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce.

Upcoming events include “What A Girl Wants” Spring Ladies Night Out sponsored by Downtown Merchants on April 20, 3-9 pm, and Heritage Days Festival, June 7-9.

Runner-up: Weston, MO

Swan River Museum
12 E. Peoria
Paola, KS

The Swan River Museum is the official source of Miami County, KS historical information. The Hunt-Russell Research Library, which is part of the museum, receives official records for the county.

The museum displays historical artifacts, some relating to the tragic “Trail of Death” forced march of Potawatomie Indians, plus vintage clothing, quilts, early tools, toys, furniture, books and magazines. Through April 29, the Swan River Museum is host to the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit Between Fences.

“It appealed to us,” said Pat Fox, a township director and exhibit chairperson, “because we’re small town America and it’s about fences and what creates them — geography, race, religion, ethnic, borders — and being a cultural exhibit, it is designed to get people to know the past and what fences tell us now. It should draw communities together.”

Admission to the museum is free.

Runner-up: Hermann, MO


Peak’s Place
118 S. Main
Muskogee, OK

Step into Peak’s Place and it’s the smell…the leather smell. It’s almost hypnotic; seeing what’s there becomes mandatory.

“It doesn’t take long and once they look around, they’re sorry they didn’t come sooner,” said Peggy Sharp, co-owner.

Sharp said the shop is named after her father, Henry Peak.

“He ran a flea market for 14 years on weekends and carried a lot of tack,” said Sharp. “It moved pretty good and dad talked me in to helping him.”

The “help” consisted of opening Peak’s Place three years ago.

For the “urban” in us, Sharp explained that tack “is all equipment for horses but saddles.” But Peak’s carries saddles too, major brands such as Billy Cook, made in Guthrie, OK, and the more economical brands also. Cowhide purses and turquoise jewelry are for sale, along with spurs and spur straps.

The list goes on: foot gear for horses including support leg wraps, replacement stirrups, bull riding equipment, chaps and protective vests. “We just started carrying hats, too,” added Sharp. “And roping supplies — this is trail riding country.”

Antique décor highlights the shop, including antique horse goggles used when the horse was hauled in the back of a truck.

“We have everything for your horse,” said Sharp. “Peak’s is the complete tack shop for contemporary cowboys.”

While you’re there, say hello the Sarge, the Shih Tzu in the denim hat.

Runner-up: Cimarron Native American Museum

Great Plains Quilt Company
119 West Santa Fe
Burlingame, KS

The Great Plains Quilt Company is noted for its selection of 1930s reproduction fabric and for the shop's quilting.

Indeed, the Quilt Company is a destination for quilters because after sewers piece together their blanket, they can take it to Kathy Smith to quilt.

"I have a “longarm,” it's an industrial sewing machine," said Smith, who owns the Quilt Company. "I load the quilt on the frame, apply a design to it using the machine. I can do patterns or custom quilting, which can get artistic. I move the machine like I'm drawing, the machine has a laser light to follow the pattern."

Smith, who quilted for more than 20 years, opened her shop about three years ago. The Quilt Company offers an array of cotton fabrics, traditional and new quilt patterns, as well as quilting classes. The shop is located in Burlingame, which is about a 45 minutes south of Topeka.

"We're located in an old, small town," Smith said. "Burlingame sits on the Santa Fe Trail, our town is quaint with a lot of old buildings on Main Street. I'm on Main Street, which is still the original brick street."

The Quilt Company participates in the Kansas Prairie Shop Hop, a tour of ten quilt shops across northeast Kansas, from June 7 through June 10. For more information, check the website,

Runner-up: Hen Feathers

Main Street Mall
518 Main
Grain Valley, MO

Owned and managed by Judy Perry, Main Street Mall is located about 30 minutes east of Kansas City and one of four antique shops and malls in Grain Valley.

Perry said the mall has three dealers that offer glassware and their booths contain about every type of glass an enthusiast would want.

“Harold and Doris Mayes have been dealers since 1992,” Perry said. “Harold’s specialty is Westmoreland, and he’s always anxious to share his expertise with others who appreciate it.”

Other glass dealers are Tom and Debbie Chaney, and Anna Williams.

“The Chaneys’ specialty is Fenton,” said Perry. “Anna Williams specializes in Depression and glass from the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s era.”

The 40-dealer mall began in the early 1980s and is known for friendliness and customer service. “My vendors are very knowledgeable,” said Perry, “and we offer a wide variety of antiques. In addition to glassware, we have toys, coins, jewelry, sports memorabilia, primitives, dolls, pottery and much more.

“But the main thing the sets us apart is our service,” she added. “We offer a Wish List Database. Let us know what you’re looking for, and it goes into the database. When we get it, we let you know. Even if another store has it, we’ll let you know that, too.”

Main Street Mall has special events to honor most major holidays. The town attracts antiquers with an annual fair and various musical events.

Grain Valley’s other antique shops are also on Main Street. They include Heritage Antiques, Primitives Plus and The River’s Edge

Runner-up: Enchanted Frog

Rutlader Antique & Trading Company
33581 Metcalf
Louisburg, KS

If it's folk art you seek, there is no place like Rutlader Antique and Trading Company.

"We carry a lot of cool and unusual pieces," said Linda Evans, who has owned the shop since 1997. "We have true, real folk art too. Like tramp art made by hobos or hill people. A lot of it is one-of-a-kind hand-carved wood. We carry vintage and old folk art as well as new."

Situated in the quaint town of Louisburg, Rutlader's encompasses 10,000 square feet of space featuring about 50 dealers.

"When people are looking for something different, we usually have it," Evans said. "This place is full of folk art, it takes about three hours to go through the shop. They say we're the best kept secret in Kansas."

Evans got into the antique and folk art business after being hired to redecorate the shop.

"I came in to help boost sales and re-do the shop," Evans said. "The owner asked me if I'd take over, so I bought the shop."

Upcoming events include a sidewalk sale on April 28 and 29. Rutlader's fall festival will be held Sept. 29, and will feature the best of autumn's produce. The Christmas Open House will be held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, festivities include sales, refreshments and Santa Claus.

Runner-up: none

> Discover Mid-America Archive — Past cover stories

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