March 2010 Issue
Bring home a bit of history by visiting the Ohio National Road’s many antiques shops.
It's the mother road of history in America. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson in 1806 as the nation’s first interstate highway, The Historic National Road opened the country’s interior to westward expansion.
Today, it is still a route to discovery and adventure, stretching 227 miles across the heart of Ohio. Once a frontier trail, it follows present-day U.S. Rte. 40 and I-70 through small towns and big cities, Appalachian foothills and rich farmland.
Not only will you find museums and markers that tell the story of America, but you’ll also discover quite a lot of history you can take home when you visit the many antiques emporiums along the way.
So whether you’re looking for a multi-day getaway or an afternoon drive, you can plan your own antiques road show on or near Ohio’s Historic National Road.
Here’s a small sampling of what you’ll find. Store hours vary, so be sure to call or visit their Web sites before you go.
AAA Antique Malls of Ohio
4700 S. Charleston Pike, Springfield, 45502
AAA Antique Malls of Ohio, located just off I-70 in Springfield, offers a happy maze of wonders to get lost in. There’s a good selection of vintage movie posters and furniture, including tin-panel pie safes. One of the mall’s highlights is its pre-Depression-era glassware, which draws buyers from around the country.
Springfield Antique Center
1735 Titus Rd., Springfield, 45502
Travel next door to the Springfield Antique Center, where the discoveries begin before you even walk inside. A 1934 fire engine and a Farmall tractor displayed at the entrance are good indicators of what’s in store.
See a rare antique convertible tin bathtub — similar to a Murphy bed — designed to fold up when not in use, hiding itself and the copper boiler inside a wooden cabinet. Toys and vintage building materials are among the center’s specialties, says manager Dave Smith.
And yes, when you’re done shopping, it’s perfectly acceptable to climb aboard the fire truck before heading back out on the road.
Heart of Ohio Antique Center
4785 E. National Rd., Springfield, 45505
You’ll need to budget a day or more if you plan to take in all 400 booths brimming with collectibles at Heart of Ohio Antique Center, which offers everything from furniture to primitives.
There’s also an extensive resource center with books and reference guides for collectors, as well as The Commons, where you can shop for outdoor and architectural items in a garden setting.
And when you need sustenance, visit Ramona’s Café where hearty lunch specials like stuffed green peppers and pulled pork sandwiches will get you back on your feet again.
Not many small towns can boast a large variety of shops, but the central Columbus neighborhood of Clintonville has a number of locally owned businesses filled with antiques. It’s a short drive north on High Street from the Historic National Road as it passes through downtown. Every store has its own character, from classic to funky.
Euro Classics Antique Furniture
3317 N. High St., Columbus, 43214
Step into Euro Classics and you can practically feel the glow of the antique wood furniture. The shop specializes in Arts and Crafts pieces, but carries plenty of Empire, Victorian and Mission-style fine furniture, too. All are fully functional, ready to use and, if needed, gently restored, maintaining the warm patina of natural wood.
Eclectiques Antique Mall
3265 N. High St., Columbus, 43202
The name says it all at Eclectiques, which offers a collection of treasures, from Victorian to mid-century modern. Highlights include the selection of vintage clothing and furnishings. Don’t forget to explore all three levels — including the basement — at Eclectiques.
The Boomerang Room
3274 N. High St., Columbus, 43202
There comes a time in life when you step into an antiques store, see a toy like one you owned as a child, and say: “Hey! That can’t be an antique … I grew up with that!” You’ll be saying that a lot at The Boomerang Room, where the slogan is: “Where it all comes back around.” This shop offers a fun array of everything from dishware to metal lunch boxes, Beatles LPs and chrome dinette sets.
3282 N. High St., Columbus, 43202
SōBō Style, named for the store’s location south of North Broadway, is where old meets new. Vintage pieces get a fresh but comfy look with distressed paint or a special decorative twist. You’ll find handsome cabinets made from barn siding, plus lamps, garden furniture and more.
Down Memory Lane
3250 N. High St., Columbus, 43202
If there’s a place where you’ll never hear the words, “Don’t touch,” it’s Down Memory Lane. Part of the fun of antiquing is the thrill of discovery, and visitors at this cute corner shop are encouraged to explore its boxes and shelves jammed with affordable finds, including tools, tin cups, clocks and cool old desk fans.
German Village Antiques
716 S. High St., Columbus, 43206
In the restored historic German Village neighborhood, just south of the National Road in downtown Columbus, you’ll find German Village Antiques. This South High Street shop’s strengths include Oriental rugs and rare books. Fine art, from prints and paintings to folk art and sculpture, is another of the store’s specialties, says owner Jim Langley.
Greater Columbus Antique Mall
1045 S. High St., Columbus, 43206
At the Greater Columbus Antique Mall, also in the German Village area, one major antique is the building itself — an 1889 Victorian mansion. For 30 years, the shop has been a favorite destination for both treasure hunters and ghost hunters, says employee Tom Kennaugh. According to Kennaugh, the mall’s 50 dealers provide a wide variety, from glassware to a selection of, appropriately, Victorian doorknobs and locks.
For more information on the shops and eateries of German Village, visit german-village.com.
WHEN YOU GO...
For more information on the Historic National Road in Ohio, visit ohionationalroad.org.
You can round out a weekend of antiquing along the road with a stay at one of these historic locations with modern accommodations.
German Village Guest House
748 Jaeger St., Columbus 43206
866/587 2738. gvguesthouse.com
Harrison House Bed & Breakfast
313 W. Fifth Ave., Columbus 43201
The Historic Buena Vista Motel
8518 E. National Rd., South Vienna 45369
Simon Kenton Inn
4690 Urbana Rd., Springfield 45502