48 years of Flea Market fun in McCloud

Shareen Strauss
Newlyweds Lorie and Denny Wing shopped for antiques and old stuff to decorate their new home together,, said Lorie at the 48th Annual McCloud Flea Market on Sunday.

At 8 p.m. on Sunday at the McCloud Flea Market, Susan Ware had emptied her cart twice already. She was looking for “old and weird stuff” for her store “Nice Old Stuff” in the Trans Vintage Market Place in Redding. She spent the daybrowsing the booths on Main Street searching for treasure.

The McCloud Flea Market, in its 48th year, had 155 booths. From unusual old antiques to hand crafted items-if the price isn’t right, you can barter. And it seemed like everyone got a good deal.

The crowd came early as many vendors said that they sold a lot right off the bat. By afternoon it slowed, only to pick up again as people wanted to see if vendors lowered their prices which many did.

At 9:30 a.m. Woody Lowe said, “We missed out on a bargain already-two outdoor slated iron chairs. We have got to get our here earlier. This year seems to be the best flea market in our 18 years here.”

Brian and Kim Cain moved into a smaller house and had a booth selling a variety of china, figurines and house hold items. They say that they have been selling for years to raise funds for their non-profit youth camp. “We just moved into ta smaller house and are selling stuff to support the camp which we bring inner city children up here to show them sustainable living.”

Barb Owens and “the bad sister,” Kay Heacock come up here from Cottonwood to sell yard art. “We are junkers,” says Heacock. “We’ve been doing this for 20 years but this is the 2nd time we’ve sold here in McCloud. I am the bad sister because I get everything sold. We’ve sold so much first thing this morning we let the vendor next door use part of our booth.”

“It’s always worth the drive from Manton to McCloud,” says Liz Merry. At her booth she installs feather hair extensions and sells Myra bags, masks and other oddities.

“The plan is to go home empty. I did sell out of some things already.”

Lucille Gray and Lan Robinson had a booth selling plants and jewelry. “We did okay but we each found tons of treasures that we’re bringing home. There are some exquisite hand crafted stuff here. I really enjoy interacting with the people. Everyone is so nice here.”

Kelly Munro from Grants Pass, Ore. had a booth with her family. “We did good – what we were hoping for, but we also got a lot of stuff.”

Her mother Janice Munro says, “Except for the rain on Saturday night when we were setting up, the booth vendors say they did very good. We always come here to shop but this year we had a booth so we can cover what we spend.”

Suzie Robison with Cheerio Textiles says, “It was bustling first thing this morning then it slowed down and then picked back up again. This is like a piece of cake-yummy.”

The food vendors said the same thing-it was good and busy all day.

“It was the most successful-all the vendors said that were really happy,” said Robin Hickman, coordinator of this year’s Flea Market. “The big deal is that all the vendors said that they did really well. We only had 4 food vendors this year.”

But that didn’t seem to be a problem as all the restaurants in town were kept busy all day as well. The American Legion Cheula Post 92 sold a total of 125 tri tip sandwiches with grilled onions throughout the day.

The McCloud Garden Club held their Annual Plant and Bake Sale on the front porch of the McCloud Heritage Junction Museum where they sold out in just hours.

“The Flea Market is totally different from the Mushroom Festival which we had last week. It has a completely different crowd,” said McCloud resident Reno DeBon. “The weather has been good today and we had a great turnout.”

To get a good idea of the type of treasures that people found, Appraisers Carl Vincent who at 102 years old knows is antiques. He is accompanied by his daughter Tanya Vincent who would appraise people findings for $10. Of some of the bigger valued items he appraised were an original Louie Eckart print from the 1912-2914 period valued at $3000.00. Persian rugs from the early 1920s with 700 knots per square inch with colors that have never have been bleached and prior to chemical dyes valued at $2000 to $2500 each. A 1900 period square ruby pendant appraised at $450.

“We always pick up stuff from here,” said Carl Vincent. “Last year we found a rosewood stand that was elaborately carved. We bought it for $30. I fixed the lid with Gorilla Glue and it is worth five times more now. To them it was a piece of broken furniture that they couldn’t get rid of. Anything can turn up anywhere. Some of the things we sell at the antique shows doesn’t compare to what we see here. It is a treasure hunt.”