Everything that is old is new again -- it can be rusty, chipped, repurposed, primitive or vintage.
At least that’s what the vendors were saying during Dickinson’s first “Rescued & Reclaimed Vintage Market.
More than 80 booths filled the West River Ice Center on Saturday, June 8, with the aisles packed with customers coming from Williston to Rapid City and even Billings.
The show is managed by Joel and Brenda Hageman and John and April Hamrell out of Billings.
“We do three shows at Billings, two shows at Sidney and decided to come to Dickinson,” said Joel Hageman. “You have traditional antiques, you have tables made out of old farm wood, you have really cool tables with designs, you have jewelry. Every booth has a different flair.”
The Hagemans -- who sell under the name Backroad Salvage -- specialize in more traditional antiques -- repurposing as needed. Joel recently cut a boat in half and used both sides as curio stands.
They look for anything old or unusual, but it’s getting harder to find things, especially in Montana.
“I’ve always loved coffee grinders and I saw one in a museum. Then I’m driving to garage sales in Billings a week ago and sitting in the garage was a grinder. You never know where’ you’ll find this stuff,” Hageman said. “ We’re almost like the American Pickers, only we don’t go knocking on doors. We love Dickinson -- everyone is so friendly and helped us promote the show.”
John Hamrell -- who sells under the name of Stoney Creek Traders -- makes furniture out of salvaged materials found in Montana and Wyoming.
“It kind of follows me now. I have a couple retired pickers who go out,” he said. “People love it and are so excited about it. These events are stroller friendly -- we try to have wide aisles.”
He continued, “We see people walk up and look at the stuff, and say ‘oh my gosh, I remember driving by that ranch.’ I had a gal at a show in Sidney break down in tears because one of the old doors I’d built was out of her uncle’s house in Millstone, Mont. We see people who have a heart for America. We’re making rural America great again. And the neat thing about this type of venue is all the people doing this are regular people like you and me. They have other jobs, but take time to scour the earth to find this stuff and put their touch on it.”
Vendor Dennis Molm, who has D’Molms Antiques, specialties in furniture.
“We refinish, we repaint and take off what’s going to flake,” he said. “There’s always an interest in every area. We try to be eclectic -- enough to have something for everyone.”
Renee Frederick, whose business is Chippy Paint Chick with locations at Big Horn, Wyo. and Billings, describes their work as “upcycling.”
“We’re taking a piece that otherwise was lost in history and we bring out the mystery,” she said . “We’re marrying the past and present to the point it's going to have a new interest in it. It’s something fun and funky for you and the next generation. A lot of people don’t just want something looking old and tired, they want something a little bit more fun with a pop of color.
Pointing to a vintage kitchen table, she layered the colors of French denim, starless night and cobalt. The table was sanded, waxed and finished with a glaze and waterproof sealant.
“Many people don’t understand the levels you’re doing. This had four levels, my time and effort and a sealant as well. I like to say it’s married from the past into the present, so you have this gorgeous piece.”
Finding a Magnavox record player, Frederick upcycled the piece by painting the interior and redoing the fabric. “Now it’s a wonderful wine or coffee bar,” she added.
Best friends Brittany O’Brien from Rapid City and Lisa Barbula from Williston met in Dickinson just to shop at the show. They were looking for pots that could be repurposed into planters.
Jean Vollum and her sidekick Sue Branden from Beach were looking for yard art and found a yard angel made out of a funnel.
Sandra Brown from Terry, Mont., and Carrie Bohlman from New England enjoyed the repurposed jewelry, but Sandra ended up buying a planter instead.
The Vintage Market partners have already set a date for next year at the ice center. They liked the location because they can expand into the two arenas.
But no matter what item is featured, there’s a soul to it, said John Hamrell.
“It came from North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. It didn’t come from overseas,” he said. “This is the stuff that grandpa and grandma had on their farm. It might not be working anymore, such as a barn door, but all of a sudden, it will see a lot more Thanksgivings and Christmases in somebody’s home.”