Published: May 27, 2003
By R. Scudder Smith
EAST BERLIN, PENN. — , 27 dealers strong, is one of those events where you never know just what is going to show up. “Last year we found a couple of wonderful things here, this year we are going away empty handed,” one of the dealers exhibiting at the York Fairgrounds said at the show’s preview on Thursday, May 8. On the other hand, a Pennsylvania collector at the preview was having a grand time and was describing her numerous purchases to a friend over a glass of wine.
Make a score or not, the show remains a pretty one and is customer friendly to the Nth degree. Gretchen Davis, who has been the show’s manager for the past six years, said, “We have nice dealers here and people love to come to this show. The event, three days including the preview opening, benefits the East Berlin Historical Preservation Society and funds are used for the upkeep of five buildings including a firehouse, log house, mill, Redman Hall and school house.”
The preview kicked off at 6 pm and there were a couple of hundred people waiting to get in. And they were still coming an hour later. “This is the first year we have had an evening preview,” one of the committee members said, “and it appears to be very popular.” Food and drink were served at a few locations about the building.
“We are a tailgate show, without question,” Davis said, “and our days move according to what Jim Burk does with his Greater York Antiques Show at the fairgrounds. We are only 12 miles to the west of York and we need the pull Jim has to make this show go.” She did promise not to start a fall show in East Berlin, as she felt three at the fairgrounds would be ample.
For the most part, this was a country oriented show, filled with firkins and lots of woodenware for the kitchen, pottery of Pennsylvania origin and a generous portion of spatter ware, colorful quilts served as backdrops in a good number of the booths, and dry sinks, step back cupboards and kitchen tables were among the furniture offerings.
The show was at the town’s community center and displays were in two classrooms, the large multipurpose room and the stage. The Passes of Mechanicsburg, Penn., showed a grain-painted tall-case clock by Jacob Cope of Watsontown, Penn., 30-hour movement, measuring seven feet nine inches tall. Also of interest was a round tin lantern with pierced top.
Lots of kitchenware, including rolling pins, graters, sifters and breadboards, was offered by Margaret Schench Antiques of Harrisburg, Penn.; and redware, stoneware and yellowware pottery, including bowls, jugs and molds, was shown by Jeff Graybill Antiques of Columbia, Penn.
Museum Books, Reading, Penn., had racks of old and some new books on the subject of antiques, along with some early auction catalogs, while Peter Diehl House Antiques of New Oxford, Penn., managed to fit two step back cupboards, a small linen cupboard, a set of four painted and decorated plank seat Pennsylvania side chairs, a large trestle table and several other chairs into his booth.
“This year we had a waiting list of dealers wanting to do our show,” Davis said, “so there may be some new faces next year. We do not know at this point, but it is certain we will be back here next spring during the same time as the other shows in York.” Davis can be reached at 717-259-0822.
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