Getting That Déjà vu Feeling while Antique Shopping in Huntsville, Texas
Huntsville, Texas, is home to Sam Houston State University (my alma mater), the Fair on the Square, and best of all, plenty of antique shopping. If you are looking for fun finds, Fiesta pottery, vintage vinyl, or any kind of collectible, this growing town is worth visiting.
The more things change…
On a recent drive through Huntsville, Texas, I kept getting that weird, déjà vu feeling. Of course, I spent a lot of time there when (finally) finishing up my bachelor’s degree at SHSU, so things should have felt familiar. But I’ve also lived in quite a few other places since then. Turning down the streets I once drove on daily, I kept expecting to see certain shops only to be met with the memory of those shops in other towns. This is a dilemma of the gypsy life: every place you go is simultaneously new and familiar, and sometimes you forget where you are.
It’s not surprising that in the twenty-plus years since my graduation, the town has changed. New student housing complexes stretch into the sky. Newer, bigger church buildings have popped up along Highway 30. And all sorts of old haunts have been repurposed or put out of commission (R.I.P. Cafe Texan). But one thing is the same, perhaps even better: the antique shopping.
Antique and Vintage Finds
A stroll around the square included stops into several antique shops, each with its own sense of style and flair. Southern Belle Mercantile offered a touch of calm and class. The furniture style here would fit comfortably into a Texas farmhouse. Packed with collectibles from a variety of vendors, the rooms in Sam Houston Antique Mall seemed to multiply at every turn. My favorite booth there had at least 100 old cookbooks—from Southern Living annuals to a New York Times first edition (I may need to go back and snatch that one up!) to a plethora of church and club cookbooks. The store also has an area devoted to Fiesta dinnerware. (I LOVE all the colors!)
Bluebonnet Square Antique Mall was slightly smaller, but no less interesting with its eclectic vendor’s choices. (If you spin old vinyls, check this place out.) Callie Magee Antiques, A Nitsch in Time, and De Ja Vu Décor, each offered something unique, from art to vintage clothing, to newer kitschy and handcrafted items.
My New Friend, Bonnie Lu
I stopped into Bonnie Lu’s Best Brew and had a lovely chat with Bonnie herself about how times have changed. She’s had two shops on the square but is closing Bonnie Lu’s Pink Lady Antiques—combining and offloading some inventory and cutting her rent costs. Thankfully, her adorable coffee and tea house remains open. If you’re visiting and in the mood for a snack, stop in for a homemade blueberry scone and a fresh brewed cuppa tea or coffee. Tell her I said hello!
In Bonnie Lu’s shop, you’ll find an assortment of handmade, hand-selected goods—from art, accessories, and collectibles to skin care, jams, and coffee. I left with a bag of Four Dogs Roasting Co. coffee beans and the feeling that I’d made a new friend.
Having only scratched the surface (there are several other antique shops in the area) and with a SHSU student in our future, I know I’ll be back.
Learn More before You Go
https://www.faironthesquare.com — 2021 marks the 47th annual Fair on the Square. October 2, from 9 am–5 pm, you’ll find 400 vendors, food booths, classic cars, concerts, and more.
https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/huntsville — Huntsville State Park, with is beautiful lake and tall, gorgeous pines, is worth a visit (especially in the cooler months). #Hike6 of the #52HikeChallenge2021 was on a trail in Huntsville State Park.