Visiting Antique Stores to Learn About the Past

Antique stores are like walking into the past. Every item can tell a story about the past and the people who used to own it.

Visiting antique stores can be a spark of inspiration for research, home decor or just a basic history lesson about how people used to live.

This past weekend, I visited an antique store in a town where my ancestors used to live.

Before this, I had never really been into an antique store. I’ve visited flea markets and garage sales but never an antique store.

Experiencing History

The antique store that I visited is located in a historical area of downtown Dayton, Ohio in a large house built around 1900 that has been restored.

Each room of the house has displays of antiques situated for the room they are meant for. For example, bathroom antiques are located bathroom and bedroom antiques are arranged in the bedrooms.

The amount of stuff was overwhelming (in a good way) and I probably only took a good look at a few select items. Even with the amount of stuff, the store was very well organized and tidy. The owner was able to tell me about some of the items. Some held historical significance to the history of Dayton such as a set of postcards with images of the 1913 flood that devastated the area.

Family Treasures

One thing I was specifically looking for was old family photographs. There was a basket of various photographs. These came from different families. The pictures don’t provide the names of the people in them. One image did provide the year of 1910 but I estimate them all to be from at least 1890 to the 1920’s.

Where Does the Store’s Inventory Come From?

  • Estate sales
  • Consignments
  • Auctions
  • Flea markets
  • Other antique stores

Common Items

  • Books (children’s, poetry, religious)
  • Kitchenware
  • Plates, silverware, etc.
  • Artwork
  • Knickknacks
  • Furniture

Unique Items

  • Pall Mall bath soap in its original packaging
  • Scrabble™ game from 1950
  • Player piano music rolls

I wish I could’ve spent more time there looking at everything and learning about it’s past as well the people. It’s definitely a place that I’ll visit again as well as other antique stores.

Have you ever visited an antique store? Do you enjoy learning about history and shopping for antiques? What’s your favorite antique that you’ve found?