Antique hunters should check out Covington shops

Hot rolls and strawberry jam started an early lunch at the Beef House. The Covington, Ind., establishment is an hour ahead of us, so it was really a late lunch.

Then it was back to the road to Indiana 63 north to the first exit (U.S. 136) east or right to the first turn (sign says Antiques and Tile). We followed the long paved lane to the big barn, which says Antiques on the roof.

It is the home of Covington Antique Co., 6431 W. U.S 136, Covington (phone 765-793-3881; email vickrick@sbcglobal.net).

Owner Vicki Ricketts has two areas crammed full of old stuff. First, the main store is in the improved part of the barn, and the other side has stuff in the rough or projects ready for your skills. It is a nice shopping stop. We bought four items.

Then it was back to 136, a turn east, past Indiana's Flex-n-Gate to downtown Covington. Most of the action there is on the square, and probably the oldest is the House With The Lions Antiques, owned by Carol and Warner Freese at 602 Washington St. (phone 765-793-2710; email is houselions@att.net).

This is a large building on the corner that is just full of high-end antiques. The Freeses are open every day with a general line of good antiques. They also do appraisals and buy antiques.

The basement is full of antiques in the rough: lots of chairs, plenty of shutters and a pair of really tall doors with glass in the top half. They measure 30 inches wide and 95 inches tall.

I bought several pieces of hardware, a dozen or so clear glass knobs and handles plus six big and beautiful ceramic blue knobs with brass rosettes for washers. I have never seen them before.

On the opposite corner are three buildings that all connect. Twenty-seven dealers share three floors, one of which is a basement. Back Home Again is the name of this operation, and it is impressive with a lot of diversification. It is a real plus to the Covington marketplace.

We also bought several items from these dealers.

Down the street is Glorie Bee, small but nice, clean, well-decorated and lots of glass. The owner is Gloria Llewellyn, and she is at 314 Liberty St. (website gloriebeeantiques.com; phone 765-793-0688).

You might want to make this trip on a Friday to coincide with Covington's outdoor market around the square. Kill two birds on one trip.

In short, we left a lot of Illinois money in Indiana — but it was a great day. This is one of the bonuses of not having weekend duty at the Preservation and Conservation Association of Champaign County's warehouse. We are still there on Wednesday evenings, so stop by and see us.

Good antiquing!

Bob Swisher has been a collector since he was a child. Questions or comments can be sent to Swisher by writing to The News-Gazette, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-677 or emailing aacanabs@soltec.net.

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