FAIRFIELD — One man’s castoff is another man’s treasure.
Wonder, amazement, joy may be overstating the overall experience, but whatever notion brings the curious or the collector to the massive Cordelia Junction Antique and Gift Mall, it is more than likely to be satisfied.
Located off of Interstate 80, this antique mall offers 12,000 square feet of shopping enjoyment spanning three floors and is worth a stop for anyone interested in a blend of styles, from shabby chic to Edwardian, with a few midcentury pieces mixed in.
With the celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Cordelia Junction Antique and Gift Mall is a landmark in Solano County.
Family owned and operated for more than two decades, the store is the largest antique and gift collective on Interstate 80 between San Francisco and Sacramento. As landmarks go, one of the features that helps the mall stand out are exterior walls and interior vendor stalls constructed of genuine, eye-catching railroad cars.
For years the store offered “a new treasure around every corner,” and there are lots and lots of corners. While some vendors come and go, many are long-term purveyors. There are currently 72 vendors with goods at the mall.
Cheryl Baugus oversees the dozens of vendors who showcase their goods and merchandise at the mall. She took the reins from her parents, Barbara and Maurice Epps, who operated the mall since its debut in 1983.
“We have a little something for everyone,” Baugus said.
From the front doors, the first gaze across one of the sales floors shows many stained-glass lamps hanging from the ceiling, accented with many twirling ceiling fans. Under the fans and lamps are scores of antiques and furnishings, and an eclectic mixture of merchandise and vintage pieces.
One gallery is themed for the glory days of the American railroad, with the first tipoff to the theme being the genuine crossing guard traffic fixture that stands over the entryway. Another gallery features a theme focusing on the 19th century American West. The obligatory longhorn skull is surrounded by Western art with a life-size black-and-white picture of John Wayne toting a Winchester standing watch from one corner.
As visitors wander it is possible to become lost in the details. Coca-Cola memorabilia is the focus of one vendor. Baubles and bangles and other estate jewelry is the specialty of a few other vendors. Collector toys from cars to trains to planes are the niche of other vendors. More than one vendor features military collectibles. Sports collectibles and memorabilia are also featured by some vendors. In one shop, a San Francisco 49ers autographed picture of Dwight Clark making “The Catch” is mounted alongside an autographed picture of Jerry Rice sprinting past opponents wearing, of all things, an Oakland Raiders uniform.
One of the more devoted vendors is Toni Decoster.
“I came here two years ago from Connecticut with 10,000 pounds of inventory,” Decoster said. “This has been wonderful since I got here.”
One of the charms of the Cordelia Junction Antique and Gift Mall is the fact that items come and go. If something strikes your fancy, it’s best to pick it up while you can because there is no guarantee it won’t be gone the next time you visit.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.