Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pickens County Flea Market

Wednesday morning we went to the Pickens County Flea Market.
What a flea market!
Nothing like the ones in New York and New Jersey where every table is laden with overpriced "antiques" whether or not the seller even has a clue to the history or details of their items.

This simple, country flea market held treasure after treasure. It was chock full of reasonably priced things that would be long gone in my local flea markets, scooped up by "collectors" or connoisseurs who desperately need these rustic prizes to decorate their weekend homes at the Shore or their getaways in the Hamptons.

Imagine my sheer surprise at seeing this painting that hung in my grandparents home leaned up against a table. The version they owned now hangs above the fireplace in my mother's kitchen. Who knew there was more than one?
I was tempted to buy it for the warm memories it gives me but ultimately resisted.
I couldn't help but wonder if it was a sign that they are always with my in spirit....

peewee herman would be envious

Besides seeing crazy things like bikes rigged with motors, I saw so many men with long hair that this place could have been mistaken for an 80's metal festival. Most of these men also had such long beards that even Santa Claus would be impressed.

There were so many Confederate flags flying about that as a pure blooded Yankee I couldn't help but feel a little uncomfortable.


Seeing Big Game jerky for sale and watching my husband buy alligator, kangaroo and some other revolting types made me queasy.

tobacco? of course....

On Friday morning I navigated my way back to the flea market alone because I was longing to find more treasures.
Shockingly, there were only 3 cars in the parking lot! My mother in law had warned me, Wednesday is the day to go, Fridays and Saturdays are a bust. Undeterred, I still gave it a try and disappointingly turned right around to head back.
On the way back to the cabin, I decided to fill up the gas tank for my husband since we were leaving Saturday morning. Truth be told, I'm really proud of my gas pumping skills and just wanted to show off. Working in New York so often has made me a semi pro at this since in New Jersey we pump it ourselves.

adventures in beef cookery: does not sound appealing!

I stopped at a run down Mobil station that sat on a busy corner up the street from the flea market.
It was hopping busy!
Busy like the 7Elevens and WaWa's here at home with commuters picking up their daily java and breakfast sandwiches.
Except at this rural corner station everyone in line was buying energy drinks and chew instead of egg and cheese sandwiches.

saw tons of these jugs with faces down there!

After discovering that this Mobil station doesn't take Speedpass I headed back to the cabin lacking treasures and driving on a half tank of gas.
I would just have to be satisfied with the things I had found on Wednesday which were indeed pretty amazing.

my haul

I collect vintage cameras and found the two pictured above as well as this movie projector from the 1920's complete with 3 16mm films!
I also bought a mini vintage kitchen scale, an antique tin pie plate from New England (since that's where my heart lies) and an antique tin fish mold for baking.

My mother in law surprised me by giving me these vintage tins that came from her mother and aunt's homes.
We spent a lazy afternoon together looking at all the dolls she had saved from her childhood and this amazing baby doll that had belonged to my husband's grandmother.
Items like these are true treasures and moments spent like this are invaluable.

Are you a flea marketer/treasure hunter?
Or do you prefer shiny and new to old and dusty?

I think a blend of both is sheer perfection.


  1. Aw, you were in Pickens county! I have such fond memories of going on summer vacation with my grandparents in their Airstream up there. We'd stay at Caesar's Head state park and then drive all over for day trips--I just LOVED it there. So much that a desire to live in the mountains all my life was planted, and here I am, now a resident of the NC Appalachian mountains! I've enjoyed your recaps. So glad you had a relaxing vacation!

    1. To say I fell in love with it there is an understatement. Ironically, it just solidified a long time desire to live in rural Maine by Mount Desert Island where I was married.
      I have always worried on whether or not I would be able to leave this urban mecca I am from, but spending a week in Pickens and feeling such peace made me realize that it is possible.
      My children will luckily have those same fond memories as you do of Pickens County - they are already begging to go back to celebrate the New Year!

  2. Wow! You had quite the amazing vacation. I am sure there are things like that here in AZ- but I have never been. I imagine there are much cooler treasures to be found back east.

    I do not do anything like this- but I can imagine that once you start, it would be addicting!! So many cool things to be found.

  3. What a cornucopia of goodness, oh how I love those markets. We have a huge one at Alameda but I can never get up early enough. Plus I'm a minimalist - we just gave the cleaners seven bags of odds and sods - so i would just be tempted to re-gift after a few days. I do love that nostalgia though.


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