It all started in 1990. Ronald and Jean Bensz, lifelong citizens of Michigan City, had long felt that their town needed its very own antique mall. They already owned the perfect piece of idyllic property for it on the south end of town with large acreage and a quaint private pond. THIS antique mall, they thought, would maintain a high quality of antiques and business integrity. They sought out antique dealers in the area, who they felt held the same high standards, to move into their mall. Rules in the contract would specifically state “no flea market type merchandise, or items less than 40 years old are allowed”. “Reproductions and gift lines are prohibited as well”.
Soon, after much preparation, a “real” antique mall was born. The Antique Market opened in July 1990 with 40 booths and 12 showcases. Manager, Kyra Niegos and Resident Accountant, Ida Koch joined Ron and Jean early in 1991 and were excited about working in an antique mall with quality
merchandise and dealers.
By 1993, a long waiting list of dealers wanting to move in, warranted an expansion of 20 more booths and several more showcases. Dealers came from all over the country to rent space- Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, and even Arizona! By 1998, yet another expansion was
necessary. Another 12 booths, more showcases, larger restrooms, and a banquet hall were added. The hall would be used for auctions, antique shows, appraisal fairs, and more. It could also be rented out to the general public.
The Antique Market now boasted over 100 dealers while still maintaining the high standards of antiques that earned it its fine reputation. By late 2000, Ron and Jean looked to retire, and new owners John and Joann Small took over. They turned the banquet hall into even more booths, and showcases to meet the demand of more dealers waiting to rent a booth.
They also increased the size of the already large reference book and price guide section that The Antique Market had. Other improvements were mad as well, and today The Antique Market prides itself with over 140 fine antique dealers.
Besides the beautiful antique items, price guides & reference books, The Antique Market sells everything you can think of, when you think of antiques-plate holders, furniture waxes and polishes, doll stands, dealer supplies, etc. And, remember antiques make perfect gifts-beautiful glassware, fine furniture, childhood memories, lovely jewelry- you name it!
Prices range from $2.00 on up. When you’re not sure what to get that special someone, you may find that an Antique Market gift certificate will suit your needs. Even if you’re not sure if you like antiques, you will find something you want at The Antique Market, we promise!