Antique bottles, collectibles association to hold show Saturday

Jessica Fischer • May 3, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Antique bottle collectors looking to add a few new items to their collection will find plenty to choose from at the State of Franklin Antique Bottles and Collectibles Association’s 15th annual Antique Bottles and Collectibles Show, happening Saturday, May 4 at the Appalachian Fairgrounds in Gray.

Dealers from across the region will set up shop between 7 and 9 a.m. in the Farm & Home Building, where the public will be invited to shop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission is free.

“Our show gives collectors an opportunity to not only buy and sell bottles and other collectibles but the opportunity to fellowship with other collectors and friends,” said SFABCA member and show chairwoman Melissa Milner.

Visitors will be able to browse not just bottles, but also coins, tokens, fruit jars, old newspapers and books, antique toys, signs and advertising, and table-top collectibles, Milner said. Children as well as adults will also have the opportunity to pick a complimentary item from the club’s “Free Bottles” table and win one of several door prizes to be given away throughout the day.

The State of Franklin Club was founded in 1988 with 18 charter members and is named after the Lost State of Franklin. The club was started as a way to learn about the wide variety of items that people collect, to share information about those items and have a good time doing so. In addition, the club also works to preserve and protect, study and salvage historical artifacts.

The club’s first bottle show was held at the Farmhouse Gallery in Unicoi in 1999. The bottle shows moved to the Appalachian Fairgrounds, where it is held annually, because of its central location and the availability of space to grow.

“Over the years, some of the other shows have disappeared, but as long as our show is here, it gives others the opportunity to see what others collect and give inspiration to the young people to start collecting and preserve this part of our history,” Milner said.

The club meets regularly at 7 p.m., the fourth Tuesday of each month in the ticket office at the Appalachian Fairgrounds.

“We have an annual picnic in September at Steele Creek Park in Bristol,” Milner said. “We grill hamburgers and hot dogs and members bring delicious side dishes and desserts. The children play in the creek and the members have a chance to get to know each other better. We end the picnic with an auction.”

Membership is $20 per family or individual. Anyone interested in joining can print out a membership form from the club’s website, www.sfabca.com.

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