There’s treasure in that city on the forest’s edge
|Umatilla Antique Market of Umatilla, Fla., is located at 811 N. Highway 19. The market is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The market is closed in July for vacation. A flea market is held outside the market from November through March on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information about Umatilla Antique Market, call (352) 669-3202.
Tucked away in the sleepy city of Umatilla is a treasure trove for collectors and antique shoppers.
For many visitors, the rural villa located in north Lake County, Fla., is a launch pad for a day of nature adventures as Umatilla serves as “The Gateway to the Ocala National Forest.” But for some eagle-eyed bargain hunters, the Umatilla Antique Market is the perfect destination for not only outstanding deals, but for locating some hard-to-find collectibles.
“Because we are in Umatilla a lot of people have not heard about us,” said owner Deloris Carter. “We play up the slogan ‘Have you ever been to Umatilla?’”
Despite being the only antique shop and bookstore in town, the Umatilla Antique Market is a popular spot for locals and passersby on State Road 19. Located next to the Ace Hardware, the shop is easy to spot. If you traveled more than a mile in either direction of the city’s only downtown stoplight, you’ve gone too far.
Carter opened the market in 1992 as her hobby grew into a full-time business. The business is next to a hardware store because it was a logical choice as her family, including five grandchildren, own hardware stores throughout Lake County.
“I’ve always liked old things,” she said, adding that some of her favorite collectibles are top sellers at the market. “We kind of specialize in fine china and colored glass.”
While the 5,500-sqaure foot Umatilla Antique Market is an antique mega-mall for glass pieces, such as Depression, Milk glassware, Blue-Cobalt colored glass, Carnival and even crystal, there are many more surprises waiting around every corner.
From furniture to priceless collectibles, the market is chocked full of great buys.
“We do have dealers that come in from other places to sell so we know we’re priced right,” Carter said.
Out of its entire inventory of furniture from various items such as dry sinks and desks, the market’s most well-known pieces are its china cabinets.
“I think we must be the china cabinet center of Central Florida because we really have a lot of them,” Carter said.
But beyond the antiques is so much more. Old tools dominate one corner of the Umatilla Antique Market including archaic looking two-man saws and scythes. In another nook, are stacks and stacks of books. From religious to recent paperback releases, the store carries a wide selection of books that don’t carry a hefty price tag. Hardbacks start at $.50 apiece and paperbacks begin at a quarter.
“It’s just not antiques,” she said. “There are lots of folks that come in and get all excited about some of the things that they might have seen at their grandparents’ place, but we try to have other things that locals and tourists would enjoy.”
For those searching for the unique items, Umatilla Antique Market also sports some off-the-wall pieces. Odd items such as a large spinning wheel, a hand-crank record player, pot-bellied stoves and wagon wheels straight from Amish country give the store unique country flair.