The History of Lakewood: The Legacy Dies
The Lakewood Fairgrounds Antique Mall is not a mall at all. It is more than a place that sits on 117-acres of long-lost Creek Indian land. It was established in 1916 as home of the Southeastern Fair. Its seven Spanish colonial livestock exhibition halls were home to over 15,000 antique dealers until the weekend of October 13-15, 2006 when it closed down for good. Atlantans can recall its prior life as a circus with a huge carousel that remained until 1967. Children visited often, whether for the fair in the spring and summer months or in the winter when one of the buildings was converted into a southern anomaly: an ice skating rink.
Now, after 20 years, the Lakewood Fairgrounds Antique Mall is no more. For 20 years on the second weekend of every month, over 12,00 people found something just for themselves, for five cents or five thousand dollars.
My sister Molly and I would go to Lakewood Antiques quite often. It was one of our favorite things to do. We bought Fiesta ware from "Fiesta Man," jewelry from the "Silver Lady," tablecloths from the "Linen Lady," that taught us to "shop with an eye," she had hundreds of tablecloths and linens and I guess one day we must have opened and looked at every single one of them and she informed us afterwards that we needed to learn to "shop with an eye".... we realized she was right, and practiced her advice occasionally! We used to buy old necklaces and broken pieces for the beads! One of my happiest moments was when we left there to go home and I had a heavy bag crammed full of old jewelry to take home and disect!!! That is how much of my bead collection grew. We bought trellis's for our yard from the "Iron Man" and several years later after moving to the mountains I made a friend named Susan. Come to find out she and her husband Don were dealers at Lakewood for 16 of the 20 years! They had one of the largest collections of Blue Ridge pottery I have ever seen in one spot, and many other collections.
We were so sad to hear about the Antique Mall closing.......and still are!! The reason I am writing about this is because this collage is a tribute to Lakewood Antiques and all the dealers who made it special for everyone who visited. As I was creating the collage with images I obtained from Suzan at "Thrifty Collage Artist" (thank you Suzan), I realized that they reminded me of Lakewood, and all the amazing things you would see there, and all the special things that I bought from there. I can still remember it by looking around my cabin and saying to myself "I bought that at Lakewood," I bought that at "Lakewood"!