By Ryan Cornell
NEW MARKET -- Like most of the antiques and collectibles packing the stalls of the New Market Flea Market, the building itself holds a rather interesting story.
The 13,000-square foot building housed the New Market Volunteer Rescue Squad from 1999 until the start of 2011, when the rescue squad merged with the New Market Volunteer Fire Co. to form New Market Fire and Rescue Inc.
It would lay vacant for nearly three years before flea market owners Denis and Tina Misquith purchased the property in October for about $375,000.
"When we first got this, it was basically just an empty room," Tina Misquith said. "This used to be the bingo room."
According to her, she said some of the top selling points included the building's open and spacious room, ample natural lighting, handicap accessibility and a large 65-space parking lot.
The couple got to work building slotted walls to hang paintings and shelves and the stalls separating 6- by 10-foot spaces for each of their 36 vendors.
On Nov. 9, their doors opened and joined a collection of other flea markets within a handful of miles.
Tina Misquith, who had sold antiques at a booth at Country Roads Gifts and Antiques in Quicksburg, said that when they learned that the rescue squad building had come up for sale, they "jumped at the opportunity." She said her husband, Denis, has 20 years of experience running a business at the Godfather's Pizza in town.
She said her favorite part of running the antique store is seeing her customers when they find what they're looking for.
"What I like most is when people hold something, it brings back memories and they tell me their stories about it," she said.
Their daughter, Angela Misquith, was spending her winter break off from Stonewall Jackson High Schoolo helping her parents behind the counter. She said she also enjoys seeing what people find.
"It's fun when people come up to the register and bring their items and they're really excited," she said.
Tina Misquith said they plan to expand the front of their business by the summer to fit more items and vendors, including a farmers market that would sell locally homegrown vegetables, fruits and honey. She said the flea market is working on hosting a grand opening in the spring.
Where: 9202 N. Congress St., New Market
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (subject to change)
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org