It’s the first of its kind — at least in this century.
Items of all shapes and sizes pre-dating the 1970s will flood the lawn at the Deschutes Historical Museum this weekend for an antique fair. It’s an event museum staff hopes will become a community cornerstone.
For the past eight months, board of directors member Jane Williamson has accepted donations in her garage for the return of the fundraiser from years ago.
“We had an antique fair in Drake Park in probably the 90s, and it was very well-received and it ended because they were reducing the number of activities in the park,” Williamson said. “And so we thought, well, that’s something we could have.”
She estimated they had received up to 300 items dating back to the 1800s from members of the museum for their personal booth.
They will be joined by 12 other antique vendors, food carts and music on the front lawn on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
An appraiser will be available from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to help visitors price their personal treasures.
“We wanted an event on the lawn, but it also draws people to the museum,” Williamson said. “The museum will be open for free that day, just on donations, but it gives people an opportunity to come see our beautiful museum.”
A fundraiser, and a leg up.
Adrian Bennett, President of the Deschutes Historical Society Board of Directors, said the fundraisers are especially important after the COVID shut-down.
“That hurt in terms of people coming to the museum obviously, in terms of getting entrance fees and that kind of thing,” he said. “But this year’s been pretty good, and we’re pleasantly surprised with people coming through.”
He said they have been amazed by the number of donations to the antique fair so far.
“Things have come in pretty consistently judging by the amount of stuff we’ve got sitting around here that somehow we have to move again without breaking, because a lot of this stuff is china,” Bennett said. “It’s going to be interesting trying to get it out of here!”
Clocks, toys, glassware, furniture, old magazines, and like Bennett said, china. It’s what they call a “potpourri” of collectibles.
It’s a humble beginning for what they hope will become a staple on both the Bend events calendar and the state’s antique circuit.
“We hope to grow it,” Williamson said. “We figure that we could have 45 vendors on the lawn with 10 by 10 booths if we had it totally full.”
Bennett said the location will likely separate it from other antique fairs.
“It is at the old Reed School. It’s not just in a park someplace,” he said. “It’s in a historic building, in a historic sight, and that gives it more ‘panache’ if you will than maybe some others.”