|By Eric C. Rodenberg
MARENGO, Ill. – In this small, rural town (pop. 7,648), situated on the Illinois-Michigan state line about 60 miles northwest of Chicago, big things – BaBAM! – are beginning to happen.
Late last year the owners of Bulldog Antiques decided to use some extra space and offer it to vendors — The Bulldog Antique Market was born. The event was popular and has now been expanded to run the fourth Saturday of every month through October.
Bulldog Antiques was opened in 2016 by Don Rose and Chuck Follett.
“Chuck called me one day about four years ago and said, ’let’s start an antique store.’ I said, sure I’m game.
“Chuck had always wanted an antique shop. He’s been a long-time collector and is well known for his National Biscuit Co. (NABISCO) collection. Myself, I’m a big history buff (having served on the board of the McHenry County Historical Society for 15 years), and my wife and I love to get out and hunt for antiques.”
“Marengo, like many small towns across the country, has been struggling,” Rose said. “We just lost our Ace Hardware store and a grocery store. But Chuck and I think it’s a town with a lot of potential for antiques. The town of Union, about 10 miles away has the McHenry County Historical Society and a fascinating Illinois Railway Museum.”
The store, located at 505 North State St., is a house converted with about 2,500 square-feet of display area. Their shop is open Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., May through October.
The partners also own an 8,000-square-foot warehouse, and it’s here that the pair had an inspiration, an epiphany – a BaBAM moment – why not turn the Bulldog’s annex parking areas and the warehouse into an antique market.
In October, the first BaBAM event debuted with Bulldog’s partners, antique pickers, customers and friends displaying and selling all manner of antiques, including antique advertising, Americana, local history, militaria, tools, toys and more.
“We want to hold to true to our commitment for selling real antiques and helping focus on Marengo’s charm,” Rose said.
Contact: (815) 814-5075