Posts tagged: Montana
I’ve followed Jana Roach’s Vintage Whites Market for several years and have written about her before, but I’d never been to one of her sales. There was always something on my calendar. So, when a planned trip to Whitefish and Kalispell, Montana coincided with the dates for her Christmas Market, I boarded the Eastbound Empire Builder at 12:45 am and dozed until we arrived in Whitefish just as the sun was coming up. I’d booked a room at the Red Lion Hotel in Kalispell (Red Lion Hotels is headquartered in Spokane so I think of it as a way to travel and still support a Spokane business) and the hotel shuttle was waiting for me at the Whitefish station.
After checking in, I made a beeline for the Kalispell Fairgrounds and the Vintage Whites Christmas Market.
I got there about an hour after the doors opened to early-sale ticket holders and the floor was crowded with shoppers. The Christmas market is Roach's largest show and the 50-or-so dealers had filled their spaces with a variety of vintage items and I took my time at each display. I picked up a tall wood candlestick, a flat candle holder, a glass cloche, some old deer antlers, a few pieces of linen and a faded old wood sign with the word “Pie” painted on it.
I finally got to meet Jana and we chatted a few minutes before I left. I dropped my treasures off at my hotel room and explored Kalispell on foot, doing some research and a little more shopping at some of the downtown stores. The next morning, after a big breakfast at the hotel, I had time for more Christmas shopping at the Kalispell Mall, which is adjacent to the Red Lion.
When I was ready to go, the shuttle drove me back to the Whitefish Station. I was able to check my luggage early and spend the afternoon on Whitefish's wonderful Main Street before meeting a friend for dinner. The train had a weather delay so we were able to linger over our meal and catch up on one another’s lives before she dropped me back at the station.
The next day, after unpacking, I pulled out the things I’d picked up at the Christmas Market. I put the candlestick on the mantel with the one I already had. I’d intended to put the glass cloche over a favorite bird's nest, something else I've written about before, to protect it and, although it hadn’t occurred to me when I bought it, I realized the flat candle holder was the perfect base, just the right size to hold the glass bell over the fragile nest.
All in all, it was a great weekend. I got a train ride, a trip to Montana, a chance to do some treasure hunting and a chance to catch up with a friend. And just as important, I now have a safe place for the little bird’s nest that reminds me so much of my own little home.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer based in Spokane, Washington. Her audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She can be reached at email@example.com
Continuing my Treasure Hunting series featuring noteworthy collectors, creative types and entrepreneurs, I’m introducing Jana Roach.
Roach lives near Kalispell, Montana in the beautiful Flathead Valley, and as one of the creators of Montana’s Vintage Whites Market, she spends a lot of time searching for lovely things to sell at her monthly sales which run from May through October.
“ If you told me 10 years ago that I'd be partnering in a seasonal vintage market & making my own goods for it, I would have laughed,” she says.
But, when thinking about what first sparked her interest in old things, Roach isn't surprised. And she gives all the credit to her mother.
“ My mom used to take me to every garage sale in town and every antique store in between,” Roach says. “She has the best decorating touch, so I got to watch her take things she would buy for pennies and turn them in to beautiful, functional, decorations in her home.”
Growing up in a home filled with her mother’s finds was a powerful influence and now it is a bond the two share. “The history behind each piece sings throughout her home,” Roach says.
Both her parents like to excavate old homesteads looking for antique bottles, many dating to the 1800s. They display the bottles in a bathroom window creating a stained-glass effect.
“Slowly, over time, I came to appreciate this and even looked forward to calling her and raving about an old funnel I bought for $2, or a stool that was rusted and dirty that I got for free out of the city dump,” she says.
Now. as an adult with her own home and family, Roach continues the family tradition.
“Now, I get excited every time I find things to fix and repurpose. I hardly buy anything new if I can help it,” she says. “The thrill of sharing that with Mom is still there, as is the thrill of sharing it with an online community of men & women who are just as excited about junking as I am. Roach established that online connection through blogging.
The catchy quote on Roach’s blog, “Just a girl who likes to make things, buy things, look at things, eat things, do things, want things, and loves everything and everyone. Except for bees,” captures the lively spirit she brings to antiquing. The blog has more than 500 followers and through it Roach is chronicling the recent purchase of an old farmhouse online.
“Being able to connect with someone through words and sometimes even voices is almost therapeutic. I've made many lasting friendships,” she says. “(But) I have to credit my wonderful mom as the reason I absolutely love - and wouldn't want to live without - treasure hunting.”
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance columnist for The Spokesman-Review. Her audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I just spent a couple of days in Whitefish, Montana surrounded by antiques and collectibles.
Whitefish, a 5-hour drive or 6-hour train ride from Spokane, is close enough to getaway for the weekend. I love the small-town feel and the proximity to Glacier National Park , just a 20-minute drive away. The scenery is beatiful, local dining is delicous and the places to stay are as varied as the people who visit.
This trip, I spent the night at the Garden Wall Inn. The Garden Wall has five guest rooms in what used to be the town’s finest residence.
Part of the Garden Wall Inn’s charm is that the heritage of the period house-turned-bed and breakfast is honored. Everything - from the furniture, to the china, to the linens on the beds, to the silver bud vase in the bathroom - is vintage.
If you love antiques and would love to incorporate them into every aspect of your home, Garden Wall owner, Rhonda Fitzgerald is a good example.
“I love all these pretty things,” she told me on my first visit to Whitefish as I admired her collection of vintage lamps in the living room. “And, in this kind of setting, anything else would be out of place.”
I’ll be writing more about Garden Wall Inn in my new Home Planet “Sweet Dreams” series, but thought I would give treasure hunters a first peek. So many of us would love to surround ourselves with one-of-a-kind vintage luxuries. A night at Garden Wall Inn lets anyone do exactly that.