First Friday Walk - June 6th 2008

Old Town Antique Market joins with Vancouver art galleries and retail shops in participating in this First Friday Art Walk. We keep our doors open until 9pm to give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the culture and character in downtown Vancouver. If you haven't visited Downtown Vancouver in a while - this is a perfect way to reacquaint yourself with our revitalized core area.

-- Our next First Friday Event will be on --
-- June 6th, 2008 from 5 until 9 PM --

This happens on the first Friday of every month - Join our community's free, fun and culturally stimulating evening and take a walk through our revitalized Downtown - many of the businesses have wine and hors d'oeuvres, guided tours of Downtown Vancouver's history, antique and fine art galleries and public art installations. Guided tours at the Hilton Hotel- 301 W 6th St, Vancouver.
Old Town Antique Market Vancouver Washington is open until 9pm on the First Friday of each month for our monthly First Friday Art Walk.

Remember the date - July 12 - 13 Palmer Wirf

Visit Old Town Antique Market during any Palmer Wirf Antique Show - we always stay open late and use it as an excuse to have a great sale during each shoW
July 12 & 13 - Portland EXPO Center

All of Palmer Wirf Antique Shows, whether at Portland Expo Center or Clark County Fairgrounds, are literally minutes away from Old Town Antique Market . You can always find directions to the shop in the show guide. These shows sport 1800+ Booths- During any Palmer/Wirfs Antique & Collectible Show one can find anything - estate jewelry, vintage toys, furniture from early American oak to European, paper Americana, china & glass including Fenton, Cambridge, Heisey, Tiffany, enticing smalls in silver, enamel and gold, country store, decor for every room in your home, kitchenware, coin-operated items such as jukeboxes, antique tools, costume jewelry, vintage clothing, barware, men's & ladies' antique watches, Native American, quilts, textiles, clocks, phonographs, sterling flatware, holiday memorabilia, lunch boxes, board games from the '60's, pop culture items, vintage gambling items, sewing, dolls from the 1870's to the 1970's. Western Americana, tobacciana, price guides.

Saturday 9-6, Sunday 10-5 Admission is $7 - Good for BOTH days
For more information visit
Please call Old Town Antique Market for more information about this or any
other event please call:

Appraisal Clinic - May 10th 2008

It’s time to dust off the old family heirlooms and retrieve the half-forgotten boxes in the attic as the Old Town Antique Market in Downtown Vancouver Washington gets ready for its May 10th Appraisal Clinic.

The clinic will offer individuals of all ages the opportunity to learn more about their treasures from area experts.

Many of us have items we’ve had for years, and years, and years. If you have no idea what your things might be worth now, you should jump right on this opportunity. You might have fun at the same time!

The most common question is probably the value of the item. Because value is dependant on a lot of things, including if the value is being considered for sale or if you need information to determine value for insurance.

Although value is a major consideration, appraisers are also able to help most participants gain some insight into the history of the item as well as on the proper way to care for it.

Specialists will be available to examine virtually anything, including glassware, china, furniture, paper items, autographs, sports memorabilia, quilts, toys, dolls, jewelry, weapons, and war memorabilia.

For more information, contact (360)750-9100

Note From The Proprietor

My addiction to craftsmanship, quality and kitsch evolved into ownership of Old Town Antique Market, formerly of Portland (next to Saturday Market for 15 years). In late March 2006 we relocated into the original JC Penney Building on Main Street in ‘Old Town’ Vancouver. Our 20,000 sf of space is comprised an eclectic collection of the rare to retro, fine art to funky treasures unearthed by our 60+ dealers at special events such as Expo, auctions, or the more mundane thrift shops, garage and estate sales.

The manufacturing of “disposable” items, often shoddily made, coupled with the skyrocketing prices of higher-end items, has led many a neophyte into the second-hand or vintage shop. The quality, craftsmanship, and often reasonably prices have persuaded many to expand their shopping horizons. The often-frustrating drudgery of shopping in an antiseptic mall-like locale is replaced with the excitement of ‘the hunt’, further spiced with the beguiling flavor of nostalgia.

Old Town Antique Market holds Appraisal Clinics. You may email me to be put on our emailing list to be notified when an upcoming appraisal clinic or sale is planned. You may contact me by email, snail mail, or simply stop by the shop any day. We are open 7 days a week, except on holidays.

Nicole Leslie is a Vancouver resident and the proprietor of Old Town Antique Market, located in downtown Vancouver . Monthly rental of spaces and cases, buying fine individual items or entire estates. Tel: 360-750-9100 Fax: 360-750-9300. Send questions and comments to:Email: website: www.oldtownantiquemarket.comor c/o Nicole Leslie 806 Main Street, Vancouver, WA 98660


A late-night phone call, waking me at around 10:48 pm, informed me that Old Town Antique Market, the building at 808 Main Street in downtown Vancouver, was on fire. It took me nine minutes to arrive on the scene: Three fire engines between 8th and 9th on Main, caution tape blocking the street, black smoke billowing from the top floor.I was in shock. Water hoses were snaking through the shattered front glass doors. Firefighters by the dozens, laden with dozens of pounds of equipment and gear, were dragging out unrecognizable material, throwing it unceremoniously into a steaming pile in the street.

My heart sank. This was the newly renovated addition to Old Town Antique Market, which opened in the building next door at 806 Main Street less than a year ago. We had spent three months renovating the main floor and basement at 808 Main, formerly Boyd’s 88, Community Bike Shop, and a late-night video gaming center, and had opened the doors to the addition only weeks earlier.

The Vancouver Firefighters on the scene asked me many questions and kept me informed throughout the fire. They informed me that the fire had started, and was restricted to, the third floor, comprising Baldwin Sales and Lighting, and the sodden objects being thrown into the streets was the detritus from that area.

At the point that they were confident the fire was under control, the firefighters did an amazing thing.The Department brought in dozens of huge tarps. They took the time and initiative to take objects off top shelves of glass cubicles filled with antiques and collectibles. They covered these with the tarps, as well as the antique furniture. Their initiative insured that these valuable objects, while not fire or smoke damaged, would not be ruined by the water coming through the ceiling from their efforts on the top floor. Because of their efforts, these brave and considerate men and women, Old Town Antique Market never even had a broken glass.

"Because of their efforts, these brave

and considerate men and women,

Old Town Antique Market

never even had a broken glass",

said Nicole Leslie,

of the Vancouver

Fire Department

Within 12 hours of the fire, thousands of items offered for sale by our vendors had been moved into our original and adjoining building at 806 Main. Sadly, the inventory of Zephyr Vintage Books was not as fortunate.Kol Shaver, owner of the Zephyr Vintage Books for 14 years, recently moved his business from up the street into his new digs within Old Town Antique Market at 808 Main.

His locked office was in a small mezzanine space directly below where the fire started. Water from above completely soaked some 3,000 precious books and prints, to the point where, after the fact, a book couldn’t be pulled from the shelf due to swelling. Although the 7000 books on the main floor of Old Town Antique Market were neither fire nor water damaged, they were also damaged due to smoke absorption within the pages and covers.

To a bibliophile, a loss of this magnitude is devastating. “It’s like losing parts of yourself,” Shaver said. Fortunately, Shaver has carried business insurance during all of Zephyr Vintage Books 14-year history. As a result, he is in the process of building up his inventory, buying large collections, and doing book fairs. He plans to reopen as part of Old Town Antique Market when renovation is complete, as early as May 1. Shaver’s loss was estimated to reach $50,000. His business insurance is expected to cover all his losses, and he is thankful he kept his inventory and cataloging up to date.


There are all levels of collecting, from a child’s assortment of rocks, marbles, baseball cards, and Barbies. There is insurance available for collectors who sell their items – online, at antique and collectible shows, or at an antique mall. The question is, at what point should one’s personal collection be separately insured, above and beyond the usual renter’s insurance or homeowner’s policy?

Generally, a homeowner’s policy will cover a limited amount of personal property. After a loss, one would be reimbursed with an amount to replace an item for its functional value – in other words, a Louis XIV chair, not insured separately, would be replaced at a general rate for a functional chair, not a priceless antique.

To insure items valued above a certain amount, the items must have an appraisal by order to insure items above add or “schedule” and item to be insured above and beyond the basic coverage, insurance companies require items above a certain value (each I spoke to had different requirements: $2,500, $5,000, $9,000, depending on the company) to be appraised.


I could see through the doors Feb. 9--A fire that broke out upstairs in a downtown Vancouver building late Tuesday caused an estimated $335,000 in damage to the structure and its contents, an official said Thursday.

But the blaze at 808 Main St. could have been far worse, had it not been reported soon after it started, said Jim Flaherty, firefighter-spokesman for the Vancouver Fire Department. The fire, reported about 10:39 p.m. Tuesday, started in an upstairs area occupied by Baldwin Sales and Lighting, operated by Brent Baldwin.

His mother, Elaine Baldwin of Portland, owns the building. His father, Boyd Baldwin, operated Boyd's 88 Center there for many years.Investigators said Thursday that the fire is believed to have been unintentional.

Although the cause remains under investigation, preliminary indications are that it may have been caused by two electrical cords at the point of origin, Flaherty said.Investigators haven't ruled out the possibility the cause was a discarded cigarette. Lab tests may provide more information later, Flaherty said.Besides structural damage estimated at $220,000, three businesses suffered significant losses:Baldwin Sales and Lighting, $35,000.Old Town Antique Market, downstairs, $30,000. Zephyr Used and Rare Books, $50,000.

Dusty Zinda, a bartender who was working across the street at the Side Bar lounge, heard an explosion and breaking glass. He ran out and saw black smoke pouring from a broken-out window but no flames outside.His call to 911 gave firefighters an early start, Flaherty said.Firefighters immediately decided to make an aggressive attack, going upstairs with their hoses rather than pouring in water from outside."That was high heat and coal-black smoke they encountered as they were going up the stairwell," Flaherty said. "They wouldn't have seen a finger in front of their face. They were all blacked out."Feeling their way toward the most intense heat, the entry crews used their hoses with short, targeted bursts rather than spraying large amounts of water everywhere, Flaherty said.That strategy is believed to have stopped the blaze while minimizing water damage to the businesses. Meanwhile, firefighters who were downstairs placed tarps over valuables to protect them.Nicole Leslie is a Vancouver resident and the proprietor of Old Town Antique Market, located in downtown Vancouver .

Monthly rental of spaces and cases, buying fine individual items or entire estates. Tel: 360-750-9100 Fax: 360-750-9300. Send questions and comments to:Email: website: www.oldtownantiquemarket.comor c/o Nicole Leslie 806 Main Street, Vancouver, WA 98660

The Old JC Penney's Building - Our History

Local residents have heard me say that Old Town Antique Market is located in the original JCPenney building downtown. Although this is true, the dozens of disoriented visitors who eventually found their way to our shop were apparently not old enough to realize that the JCPenney of their childhood, located at 911 Main, was JCPenney’s second Vancouver location. The original store, at 806 Main, now Old Town Antique Market’s location, opened its doors in 1922. It moved up the street in 1956. It was with absolute delight that several of our more senior visitors came into the shop and share their memories with us!

In an effort to learn more about our building I contacted Joan Gosnell of the J C Penney Archives Collection of the DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University. Thanks to their archive and her assistance I was able to cull an abundance of interesting facts.

JCPenney store #228 opened in Vancouver, Washington, on June 1, 1922. James N. Chambers was the first Manager. Opening prices featured men's suits at $17.50, dress shirts at $3.98, and men's shoes at $1.98. The women enjoyed fine leather gloves at 98¢ a pair, $1.69 hosiery, and dresses for $5.50. Towels cost 20¢ a piece, while fabric was 21¢ per yard. Mr. Chambers remained as Manager for five years until he moved in January 1927. Mr. Chamber's move to Salem, Oregon, in January 1927 brought store #228 a new manager, W. F. Sloan. By that time men's dress shirt prices were down to 98¢, and overalls sold for the low price of $1.15. Ladies' hosiery was bought at $1.49 per pair. Fabric was sold for 10¢ per yard, and the JCPenney towel went for 25¢. Mr. Sloan remained at JCPenney store #228 until he resigned in August 1932. William J. Yunker arrived from Portland, Oregon to fill the manager's shoes.

By 1932 prices had come down considerably. Men’s socks were 39¢ for 6 pairs, and the accompanying shoes were $1.39 a pair. Ladies' hosiery cost 29¢ for one pair, and dresses sold for $2.98. Children did not miss out on the low prices of 1932. Their sweaters were 49¢. On the homeware front, fabric was now 5¢ a yard, and feather pillows only 69¢. A few of our customers remember the air tubes that sucked up with a whoosh! the canisters filled with money to the upper floors. These, alas, disappeared when the store was remodeled sometime in the 1940’s. Mr. Yunker remained as Manager of Store #228 for 21 years, until his retirement. Ralph E. Metz arrived from Oregon City, Oregon in July 1953.

After World War II, economy was a way of life, and JCPenney had become a household word. Inflation had brought costs of living up, as well as clothing prices. Men's dress shirts were $4, and shoes sold for $7.90 a pair. Women bought their hosiery for $1.15 and their dresses for almost six dollars. Even housewares felt the rising inflation, with towels climbing to 44¢.

In February 1956, JCPenney moved to a new 36,432 square foot facility at 911 Main Street. Mr. Metz retired in February 1961. His successor was O.L. Good, who served nine years. K.R. Powell followed Mr. Good October 1970. Sales in 1970 were reported at $3,084,000, and in 1971 they totaled $3,016,000. 39% of the sales were credited to the city of Vancouver, while the remainder came from the surrounding counties of Multnomah, Clackamas, Clark and Washington. The last Manager on record at Store #228 was Michael Quickenden. On January 31, 1981, the downtown store closed.

Nicole Leslie is a Vancouver resident and the proprietor of Old Town Antique Market, located in downtown Vancouver . Monthly rental of spaces and cases, buying fine individual items or entire estates. Tel: 360-750-9100 Fax: 360-750-9300. Send questions and comments to:Email: website: www.oldtownantiquemarket.comor c/o Nicole Leslie 806 Main Street, Vancouver, WA 98660

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