Worth the Drive: Antique Shopping

Exploring new antique shops can be a great excuse to get out of the house with some friends. These destinations may be outside your comfort zone, but just think – the antique of your dreams could really be just an hour away. 

Columbus Antique Mall and Museum 

For those who like thrift shopping with a bit of adventure, the Columbus Antique Mall and Museum would be the ideal place to go. This mall and museum is housed in the former Columbus Canning Company building which was built in the 1900s. Located in Columbus, it is known for being Wisconsin’s largest antique mall and sits on over 78,000 square feet of endless antiques. It is home to the largest selection of glassware in the United States. The mall brings in over 200 dealers in more than 400 booths waiting to sell their merchandise across three stories. Before you dive into hardcore antique shopping, take a moment to relax in the lounge area provided for guests. It includes free coffee, purchasable food and snacks, tourist and travel information and tons of art. Just when you think you’ve seen the entire store, you arrive at the museum. The Christopher Columbus Museum includes over 2,000 items such as statues, paper, glassware and many other treasured artifacts and art. Most of the museum’s artifacts are over 125 years old. The artifacts are organized into four eras: Pre-Columbian, Christopher Columbus, 1893 World’s Fair and 1492-1992 Quincentennial. A full visit to the Columbus Antique Mall and Museum can take up to three hours. Guided tours are included for $2 per person. For more information, visit or contact owner Daniel Amato at 920-623-1992. 

Chelsea Antiques & Blue Willow Shop, Sister Bay

If you’re looking for a peaceful, outdoorsy experience, then Chelsea Antiques in Sister Bay is the perfect place to shop. This unique antique store is located inside of a 90-year-old barn. The barn has been used as an antique shop for over 40 years and fits in with the Door County look of repurposed buildings and plenty of open land. Inside, you’ll find it packed with “handpicked” English and French antiques. Almost all of the antiques come directly from Europe. This includes home decoration, furniture, rugs and more. The store spans throughout the barn and into the former miking room and chicken coop. There is even a “Lavender Room” filled with luxury bath products. After taking a stroll through the beautiful garden you can head over to the Blue Willow Shop. In addition to antiques, the shop offers various gourmet food items such as pastas, pastry mixes, teas and their own homemade dressings. Upstairs you will find all antiques and merchandise for children including books, toys and clothing. For the more serious and dedicated antique shopper, this family-owned shop is the perfect destination to find one of a kind, unique pieces. For more information, contact owner Judy Neu at 920-854-4828.

Saving Grace Salvage Company, Berlin

Housed in a former church, Saving Grace Salvage Company is an antique shop for the home and garden. Head to Berlin to sort through antique furniture such as washtubs and medicine cabinets while the ambient colors of the church’s stained glass windows decorate the shop. Established in 2009, the message that the owners wanted to express when they opened was that antiques don’t have to be considered garbage if they are broken or damaged. Many items sold here are pieces of furniture that can be repurposed into something new. If you’re into DIY projects and Pinterest ideas, this is a great location to find the raw materials you would need. You can also shop for items that have already been built or assembled from hand. If you have a certain project in mind, the staff are more than happy to point you in the right direction for inspiration and even assist you with your finds and how to put them together. The store gets the most attention around Christmas when they decorate for the season and put out merchandise perfect for the holiday. Another nostalgic, popular item that the store offers are collectable Pyrex containers, but they sell quick! So if you’re looking for an old car seat to turn into a porch swing or an antique dresser to turn into a bathroom vanity Saving Grace Salvage Company is the perfect spot to look. For more information, visit the Saving Grace Salvage Facebook page or contact the store at 920-789-8251. 

Woolbrights River City Antique Mall, Princeton 

Open seven days a week all year round, Woolbrights River City Antique Mall is like a blast to the past. This vintage antique shop happens to be Princeton’s largest antique mall. With furniture ranging from Victorian to primitive, glassware, jewelry and even fishing gear, there is nothing you won’t find inside. Woolbrights River City Antique Mall emphasizes that their furniture is absolutely antique. They stay true to this promise by prohibiting any of their dealers to bring them items with barcodes on them (unless it is necessary, such as a book), and they only allow 15 percent of collectables at their dealers booths. If you are unsuccessful in finding a specific piece of furniture that you want, this antique shop allows you to write down the desired item and your contact information in their “Want Book.” If an item that resembles what you are looking for finds its way in the store, the owners will call you and send you a picture of it before placing it out for sale. Every Saturday, from April to October, the Princeton Flea Market takes place directly across from the antique mall, so in the off chance you don’t find something you like at Woolbrights River City’s Antique Mall you still have options. For more information, visit the store or contact owners Pam or Dave Woolbright at 920-295-3475.  

Brass Butterfly Trading Co, Weyauwega

Brass Butterfly Trading Co was established in 1977 and is dedicated to the nature lover in you. This family-owned antique shop, located in Weyauwega, specializes in hand-carved, wooden furniture and cabin decorations. The store has various choices of animal statues, furs, knives and other hunting gear, and outdoor and animal-themed paintings. Brass Butterfly is the perfect store for anyone who loves the rustic and raw theme of cabin homes. Most of the merchandise is handmade from locals and some even comes from out of state. You’ll know that you are purchasing a one-of-a-kind piece that took time and dedication when you shop here. You can shop for already made furniture and decor, or if you’re feeling creative you can buy items to repurpose or reuse in a different way; for instance a canoe that can be made into a shelf or an old shotgun used as a lamp base. Handmade animal fur rugs and throws are other popular items sold here. Although most of the furniture is made by hand, the selection is not limited. There is certainly more than enough of a selection, even if things sell quickly. The owners always have new merchandise coming in. For those who want the cabin home of their dreams or maybe just a bear skin rug, contact Bob Anderson at 920-867-4300 or visit the Brass Butterfly Trading Company’s Facebook page. 


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Worth the Drive

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