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A Gentrified Flea Market in Salisbury

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Flea markets may seem as American as apple pie, but they have not been around forever. Indeed,  this weekend’s Antiques in a Cow Pasture in Salisbury, CT, is a direct descendant of the pioneering Original One-Day Rural Flea Market that dealer Russell Carrell founded on Route 44 in 1958. On its twentieth anniversary in 1977,  The New York Times reported that “Mr. Carrell’s outdoor bazaar, the acknowledged forerunner of all those rural, suburban and urban flea makrets that
proliferated in the 1960s, grew from a band of 50 participating dealers to its current size, a show that attracts about 3,000 shoppers who pay $2 each for the pleasure of browsing and buying where cows once grazed.” The flea market was not Mr. Carrell’s only claim to fame; he managed and organized many charity antiques fairs, including for 27 years the illustrious Winter Antiques Show in New York that benefits the East Side House Settlement.

The flea market faded away sometime in the 1980s, and was revived a few years ago as a gentrified country antiques fair with everything from formal furniture to folk art. The 65 dealers include Antiques at 30B from Cambridge, NY;  Barbara Peters from Patchogue, NY; Clary & Co. from Manhattan; Gardenalia from Falls Village, CT; Jane McClafferty of New Canaan, CT; Platypus Antiques of Dix Hills, NY; Miller-Robinson of Ashfield, MA.  The admission price to the show is still reasonable: $15 for early birds (9 - 11 AM) and $7 (11 AM - 4 PM), which benefits Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Connecticut,  helping to make this community-conscious retail therapy and a tribute to Russell Carrell’s memory.

Rural Intelligence Home and GardenRussell Carrell’s Original
Antiques in a Cow Pasture
One Day Antiques Market
92 Canaan Road (Route 44), Salisbury CT
September 13

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Posted by Dan Shaw on 09/10/08 at 10:49 AM • Permalink