Arcadia, Louisiana is probably best known these days for the Bonnie and Clyde Trade Days which is, as best I can tell, like a Louisiana version of Canton, Texas. It's a giant vendor shopping extravaganza with everything from pets, to crafts, to plants to antiques. Notorious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde were finally killed in 1934 on a rural road near Arcadia.
Arcadia has been known in years past for a thriving antique business. It's a tiny town with a population of about 3,000 and the downtown area, centered mostly on a square, used to be filled with antique shops. Now there are about five or so, but they are wonderful shops!
We never take the interstate if we can help it, but we took I-20 to Minden, then jumped off onto Highway 80 which curves and winds its way through the hilly rural countryside. It was a pretty drive.
We got to Arcadia in time for lunch so we stopped at Sharon's Cafe; there were lots of cars in the parking lot and lots of what looked to be work trucks so we took that as a good sign. Sharon's is your typical hot plate lunch place with paneled walls and red plastic tea glasses. The specials were on the wall:
I took a pass on the Neckbones and went for the chicken fried steak, as did Steve.
It was pretty darn good. Tucked over there on the left side of the plate is hot water cornbread and you could still the the imprints of the fingers that shaped it! No frozen cornbread here.
The pies were tempting...
...but we had shopping to do so we paid up and hit the road.
We hit the first store, Trash to Treasures, on Maple Street. I was in total depression glass heaven:
There was another shelf of the pink glass, a shelf of cobalt, and another of amber. I'm partial to the green so this is about as far as I got.
On the top shelf in this picture is a wonderful Pyramid pattern relish dish; that's my favorite pattern, but it had a significant chip in it so I left it there. There were some wonderful pieces here that I seldom see anywhere else, but I didn't want to spend all my money in the very first store so I wanted to wait on my glass purchase until I'd looked around more.
I did love this little railroad sugar and creamer set:
A nifty file that was outside:
We started to leave the store and when we were outside we realized the store was bigger than we thought. There was a fenced in area and then it adjoined another building. We saw a fellow walking around in there and I said, "Hey! How'd you get in there!" and he told us. So, we went back in and followed his directions to picker heaven. I mean, that guy from American Pickers would have gone nuts in this place:
A player piano:
and a bar:
A great chair:
I found this great old record player:
What's on the spindle, you ask?
Brenda Lee, of course. You know, the kids I teach today would have no idea what this is.
I saw this old Coca-Cola cooler and thought of my friend Milly Rose:
There were several of these cool dividers that came out of one of the casinos:
They were actually quite large and very, very heavy.
We kept digging and poking around and I found these:
Barrister bookshelves! Love! Had to have them. The owner told me they came from the Capitol building in Baton Rouge ages ago; during a remodel they were just throwing them out back and some guy picked up as many as he could. They're very, very old and I totally love them. The glass is intact on the front and the company labels are perfect.
We secured them in the back of the Jeep and continued shopping.
We stopped by the post office which was built in 1937. It has a cool mural called "Cotton Time" which was painted by a WPA artist (1930s -1940s).
Here's a close up of one section:
Our next shop was Old Towne Marketplace on Myrtle St.
I took one look at this shelf and went back to the counter to ask if they took credit cards. They don't. Nobody there takes credit cards. If you go to Arcadia, take cash or a checkbook. I'd have cleaned them out of Jadeite if they'd taken plastic. As it was, it took one of the refrigerator dishes.
I thought this jar was cool:
The lid was crockery.
Another Coca-Cola item:
I ended up buying my Jadeite piece, two black Americana postcards, and a first edition of Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to His Children.
The lady that ran this shop was super nice and I enjoyed shopping there.
Next was a little rest break in a comfy rocker in the town park:
Our last shop was First Street Antiques - another lovely shop.
Loved this pie safe:
And I found these great Fire King mugs, and if they'd been Jadeite, they'd be mine, but I already have three or four in this color so I left them. These are great mugs; they're super thick and heavy and they keep your coffee hot for a long time!
(I'm not talking about that one with the wheat pattern; that one didn't interest me.)
Thermos bottles - all sizes!
And I love that Formica table they're on.
They had all kinds of drip coffee pots (which make THE BEST coffee, even though I love my Keurig. My drip coffee pot is unbeatable).
How about this serious, heavy-duty pressure cooker?
There was a lot of Fostoria American around and this punch bowl was marked $45 - a steal. The tag said it had a "factory defect" but I couldn't see it:
I love enamelware, for some reason, and I have a lot of it, but I don't have one of these coffee pots. They're always marked around $45. Steep.
I loved these old post office boxes; the shop owner suggested they'd make a great room divider. They are truly awesome:
I bought a Jadeite reamer from this shop; it was priced very low because it had a tiny chip in it which mattered less than none at all to me.
So after we exhausted all the shops we checked out the war memorial:
Then headed over to the railroad depot museum. The proprietor was just locking up but she saw our pitiful faces and took us on a quick tour.
There is a ton of Arcadia history in this place. The depot itself it preserved; she showed us where the "colored" waiting room was, and the "white" waiting room. There are lots of old photos from the school which were nearly destroyed before being rescued and preserved here:
This old cheerleader uniform has the tiniest waist I've ever seen:
An old ice box:
and a fabulous old wood burning stove:
Steve got a kick out of this old Possum Festival poster (they used to have a huge Possum Festival in Arcadia and raised huge sums of money for St. Jude):
And outside is a "marker" for the possums:
They have a Bonnie and Clyde exhibit in the Depot museum; this is a book that was in the car when they were shot:
It's in a glass shadowbox. There are coroner's reports there, and newspapers, lots of photos. It's a nice exhibit if your into that sort of thing. I have trouble glorifying murderers, but that's just me.
We packed it all in and headed for home. We stopped in Minden to say hey to Milly Rose and grab some dinner at Habacu's then called it a day.
Arcadia is a great place to visit and shop and we'll be back. Just leave the credit cards at home. They won't do you any good. There are lots of historical landmarks around the area to see that we didn't have time for today.
But, summer is coming!
The SIGIS Take a Trip Series:
Take a Trip to the 2012 Natchitoches Christmas FestivalTake a Trip to the 2012 Grand Cane Pioneer Day and Christmas ParadeTake a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at BAFB
Take a Springtime Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, LA
Take a Trip to Logansport, Louisiana
Take a Trip to the Lock and Dam on Red River
Take a Trip to the 2012 Barkus and Meoux Parade
Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden
Take a Trip to the Fourth Annual Barksdale AFB Oktoberfest
Take a Trip to Grand Cane's Fifth Annual Pioneer Trade Day
Take a Trip to the 2011 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Take an Autumn Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Take a Fall Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
Take a Summertime Trip to Grand Cane
Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to the Third Annual BAFB Oktoberfest
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation
Take a Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Oktoberfest at BAFB