gold rush days 2021

by | Aug 23, 2021 | All Things Home, Antiques, Favorite Finds | 38 comments

This weekend was Gold Rush Days in Oronoco and Rochester, MN!  We don’t have a lot of antique shops in my immediate area, so I look forward to this event every year.  It’s actually the same event held in two separate places.  The original Gold Rush Days takes over the small town of Oronoco, MN and a spin-off event happens simultaneously at the Rochester, MN fairgrounds.  They are both large events and it’s worth going to both if you have the time.

I started out of Friday meeting Cheri, my antiquing buddy.  We’ve been to Gold Rush Days twice before and we always have a good time together.  We have similar tastes and are familiar with each other’s styles, so we help look for things on our lists.  I had actually made my Gold Rush Days list weeks ago, so I could be focused and intentional about what I bought.  Of course, there are always things that speak to you when you’re there, but it helps me a lot to have a plan.  Otherwise, I get overwhelmed and distracted!

gold rush days oronoco, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

My Gold Rush Days 2021 list was – a cabinet for the basement family room to hold puzzles and games, a deer head, antique leather-bound books, and gold frames for paintings.  Of course, I was always going to be on the lookout for cool art supplies, papers, pens, and pencils.  Most of my shopping, though, was going to be geared towards the basement family room makeover.

Even with a list and a room in mind, it’s hard not to be distracted by all of the wonderful and unique things.

gold rush days oronoco, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

These are balloon molds!  Aren’t they so cool?  They would make very interesting 3D artwork.

gold rush days oronoco, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

I’ve been looking for a Victrola to replace the one I sold when we moved.  This one was gorgeous but was way out of the price range of what I would spend.

gold rush days oronoco, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

It was a simple thing, but I also loved this framed fly swatter!  I didn’t end up buying it, but I was tempted.  I love the idea of framing antique, everyday items.

gold rush days oronoco, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

After about 30 minutes of looking around, I came across the first promising cabinet for the basement.  The size was good, I love the pine finish and the white knobs, but it felt a little primitive for the look I am going for.  It was a possibility, but I felt like I should keep looking.

gold rush days oronoco, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

And just a tent or two over, I spotted this beauty.  I knew right away it was a winner.  It has more of an English library look and the darker wood would better complement the built-ins around the TV.  It’ll also provide great closed storage for puzzles and games.  At $450, it was also a good price.

gold rush days oronoco, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

It is in super condition, but it is missing the key (which was also used as a handle to pull the doors open), so I’m going to add a couple of antique latches when I find the right pair.  It’ll also give it a little rub down with some Hemp Oil to hydrate the old wood.

I also bought an old frame for $20 and a deer head for $50.

First of all, let me say that I know not everyone is going to love the deer head and that’s okay.  I just imagined a deer head hanging up on the wall as I’ve been working on the basement.  This one is from the 1940s-50s, so there’s nothing that can be done to save it now.

gold rush days oronoco, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

The gentleman I bought it from had several deer heads ranging from $50-$300.  Of course, the $300 head was the prettiest, but I really didn’t want to spend that much on it.  I thought the $50 one had a nice face, fluffy ears, and an impressive rack, but the nose was a little messed up.  It’s from the 1940s-50s and had a classic look, but was a little worn from age.  The seller mentioned fixing the nose, so I asked how he would do it.  He said he would make one out of epoxy and paint it black.  There happened to be some black leather on a table above the deer.  Hmmm…  I think I could probably fix the nose with a little black leather.  The gentleman agreed that was a great solution and offered to cut a piece off of the leather for me.

So, I’ll get this old boy fixed up and looking nice to hang in the basement.  He will need a name, so let me know if you have any suggestions.

As an aside,  I never thought I would be fixing the nose on a stuffed deer head as a DIY project!

One of my surprise purchases was a couple of starched detachable collars.  These were made in the late 1800s to early 1900s so a gentleman could just have his collar washed and not the entire shirt!  Isn’t that interesting?  I guess most of the shirt would be covered by a vest and coat, so the collar just had to look crisp and clean.  (Nevermind that the armpits were probably what needed to be cleaned the most!)

Anyway, I inquired about the collars and the seller said the entire display was $525, but everyone wanted to buy his cuffs and he wasn’t selling them seperately.  I let him know I was interested in the collars and he said he could sell those, no problem.  $6/each, but he would only sell me two.  So, I picked out two.  I’m planning on framing them in shadow boxes in the bathroom.

gold rush days oronoco, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

I told Cheri not to let me buy any baskets, but I managed to sneak one in as I was loading the cabinet in my van! I have bought a basket from this vendor at Gold Rush Days each year and I couldn’t resist this antique German basket with a lid and original hardware for $60.

gold rush days oronoco, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

I bought a few other things, but I’ll share those in another post.

The next day, I was still feeling high off of my great finds and decided to go to the Gold Rush Days event in Rochester.  Since this one is at the fairground, there were vendors outside, but also in the barns and buildings.  Because there were more vendors set up indoors, I think there were some higher-end pieces at the Rochester venue.

gold rush days rochester, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

There seemed to be more antiques from Europe at this event as well.  Of course, that is what I was drawn to the most, but the prices were high as well as the quality.  So, I did a lot of admiring.

gold rush days rochester, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed gold rush days rochester, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed gold rush days rochester, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed gold rush days rochester, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

The antique hand-painted bench was spectacular!  It was over $3,000, but it is a genuine antique and a very special piece, so it’s probably worth that.

gold rush days rochester, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

I took pictures so I could use the painted detail and colors for inspiration.

gold rush days rochester, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

I also loved this pine wardrobe.  If it had been a steal, I would’ve bought it and found a place to put it, but it was priced pretty high.

gold rush days rochester, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

I also loved this seed cabinet!  It was in incredible condition and would be a perfect piece to build a kitchen around or to use as a storage piece in a studio.  My studio is about maxed out, though!

gold rush days rochester, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

I was very tempted to buy this rug!

gold rush days rochester, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

The colors were soft and beautiful and it would look great in either my living room or family room.  Even though it was a good price, it was a bit more than I wanted to spend and, since I have rugs in both rooms already, it was hard to justify the purchase.

I did buy a few small things, though.  The ceramic pastry cutter…

gold rush days rochester, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

…a pair of leather toddler shoes to put in a shadow box…

gold rush days rochester, mn | antique market | miss mustard seed

A couple of books, and a few other little things.  I’ll share them all in another post!

While it was fun to be out shopping for antiques and awesome to find a few pieces on my list, the highlight of both days was having conversations with some of the vendors.  I heard stories about collections of WWII letters, fountain pens, carved wooden spoons, and more.  I especially like talking to the older vendors who have been doing this forever.  I enjoy hearing about their passions and why they collect and sell the things they do.  I have found most people are eager to share and teach me something I didn’t know.

After hanging out in the house for the better part of a year, it was nice to connect with others, even in just a quick chat about antiques.

I’m already looking forward to Gold Rush Days next year!  It’s always the third weekend in August if you want to try to attend.

38 Comments

  1. Anita

    Sounds like you had a great time, and saw some wonderful things. Congrats on finding the deer I’m sure you willl do a great job with his nose. 🙂 Can’t wait to see it.

    Reply
    • Lisa P

      I really enjoyed your description of your visits to the two Gold Rush Days antique sales. Looks like there were lots of treasures! Large events still haven’t started up again where I live but my fingers are crossed for next year.
      Looking forward to seeing the big cabinet (how did you get it home?), deer head and other finds in their new home too!

      Reply
  2. Anita

    Somehow my name suggestion didn’t print– My suggestion for a name would be “Nose-tradomis” 🙂

    Reply
  3. Jill J Bratcher

    I’m going with Cyra-nose De Bergerac…

    Reply
  4. Jody K

    “This one is from the 1940s-50s, so there’s nothing that can be done to save it now.”

    Best quote of the day, lol.

    Reply
    • Pat

      I think every home here in MN or WI for that matter needs a deer head. My husband has one he hunted hanging in his office along with a big fish. So glad he has his own space to display them. I get to decorate the rest of the house, so it is a small concession to let him do so.
      We haven’t named the deer head but have decorated him at Christmas!

      Reply
  5. Kimberly Carnegie Bruhn

    That painted bench reminds me of a Carl Larsson painting … he’s credited with “bringing the light” to Scandinavia with all the beautiful colors and designs in his family’s home. Looking forward to seeing your next project that was inspired by that lovely bench!

    Reply
  6. Dionne Street

    I wish I could have gone with you! i would have had so much fun. I really want an old type writer and telephone like the ones in your photograph. I’m so happy for you that you found so many treasures!

    Reply
  7. Joelle

    How about Deer John?🤣 Or John Deere!

    Reply
  8. Bev

    I too went to Oronoco looking for treasures this weekend! I had never heard of “Gold Rush Days” here in Illinois until you posted about it a few years ago. My husband and I made a long weekend of it and spent some time in the lovely Rochester area as well as a few of the surrounding smaller towns. We had a grand time and came home with a few nice antiques, not that I really need another thing! We would love to do it again, even though we both agreed that the prices of antiques and collectibles seem to be a bit more approachable in our own area of NW Illinois.

    Reply
  9. Ruth

    My son is a locksmith. When I was still repurposing furniture he gave me a small box of “skeleton keys” that were made for antique locks on furniture, etc. I did use a few of them with little tassels attached to enhance some antique pieces. I still have a few. You could go to a local locksmith and get a key to fit for a handle.

    Reply
    • Babs

      Loved all your finds! What about Rochester for the deer? You will always remember where yiu lived when you bought him

      Reply
    • Lisa P

      What a good idea to talk to a locksmith about the missing old key!

      Reply
  10. Eileen

    Clarice for the deer.
    Rudolph’s girlfriend.

    Reply
    • Merri Jo

      Deer with antlers are males!😉

      Reply
  11. Patricia Mayle

    “Lockhart” means deer from the forest

    Reply
  12. Patricia Mayle

    I love that you took us along for your scavenger hunt.

    Reply
  13. Cheryl Dietzman

    It was so good to be out antique hunting with you again! Let’s plan out next hunt!!

    Reply
  14. Debra F Ugarte

    Name him “Goldie” for Gold Rush.

    Reply
  15. Cheri Dietzman

    It was so good to be out antique hunting with you again! Let’s plan out next hunt!!

    Reply
  16. Carolyn Todd

    We have a deer head in our living room, the largest whitetail my husband hunted. His name is Uncle Buck (remember the movie?) and he always gets decorated for Christmas. You could always fashion a red nose for your deer as well, hah.

    Reply
  17. Camille W

    I don’t have a name, but I do like the name Cyra-nose De Bergerac that Jill mentioned! ha!

    When you repair his nose, but sure to make a cover in red so you can change it at Christmas time and decorate the horns. 🙂 Thanks for taking us with you on your journey. I love to poke around in junk stores and antique stores. You never know what you’ll find!

    Reply
  18. oli

    We have a deer head that is also from the 50s. His name is Elmer. He hangs in the garage. His nose also is in need of repair. Someone painted his nose red with nail polish. He looks good at Christmas.

    Reply
  19. Bea

    I used to attend the Oakland’s Antique Show when I lived in Northern Virginia. I miss going to large shows now. I enjoyed seeing your photos and reading your comments from The Gold Rust show. Had I been there I would have wanted to buy that first tall cupboard you looked at and considered buying. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  20. mary m

    Back in the day 1962 I worked at an advertising agency in NYC. There was a gentleman in a high position who wore those collars! He was an interesting character.
    Also I used to have a collar box. It was a sturdy box when a man could store his collars without being crushed.

    Reply
  21. Sandy

    My ex-husband had a deer head that hung in our family room. Every Christmas I would hang a jingle bell with a little red bow on each side of his antlers. I started calling him “Prancer” and the name stuck year-round.

    Reply
  22. Wendy York

    I loved your comment about there being nothing that could be done for the deer now 😂. Maybe you should name it “Goldie” in honor of Gold Rush Days. 😉😁

    Reply
  23. Jo7nes

    The name that came to me was “Randolph the Black Nosed Deer”.

    Reply
  24. MerriJo

    What a fabulous post—it reminded me of your many ventures to Brimfield. Our lake house in WI didn’t feel complete without a “mount”, so we got one from a friend, hung him up, & dubbed him “Uncle Buck”! I’m looking forward to seeing your new pieces in your family room.

    Reply
  25. Monica Novak

    I think you should name him Orin for Orinoco. So jealous. I missed it this year and will have to wait another year to catch. Up.

    Reply
  26. Pat Mays

    I love our flea markets and antique shows here in Ohio. Sometime I buy sometimes I admire, but I find that I also come home, look at my things, recall where I got them, or my friend who was me..even the price I paid and appreciate them even more. Springfield extravaganza is best ever! Lots of unique item and things you only see in magazines.

    Reply
  27. Lottie

    Nice finds. Cute names from everyone. Btw-we live in an area with lots of deer & both male & female grow antlers. The males’ grow longer than the females’ though. 😊

    Reply
  28. SUSAN

    Do you know the mans name you got him from? I’d name him after him.

    Reply
  29. Sharon W.

    Oh yes to the deer head! I bought a used mink vest off of eBay where someone had modified a mink jacket. I did get some raised eyebrows for that, but I gave the same argument, it’s been dead a LONG time! The vest is creamy white and beautiful and perfect for our mild GA winters. (I also had it cleaned straightaway!)

    All your finds are beautiful and it’s always fun to tag along!

    Reply
  30. JC

    What fun to “go along” with you antiquing! You found so many great treasures! I absolutely love the seed cabinet. It would be incredible with a stone counter added for a potter’s table and in an adorable potting shed, of course! A girl can dream ;). I love the contrast of weaves on your German basket and what a great price! KariAnne @Thistlewood Farms has a balloon mold decorating her walls. I had no idea what it was until she shared. It’s so fun and whimsical. As far as naming the deer head….how about Patch? 😉

    Reply
  31. Mary S

    I like Patch but when I saw that deer head I immediately thought of
    RUDY… Don’t know why.. it just came to me. Ha ha!

    Reply
  32. Karen B.

    This is my kind of shopping. What a fun event. Your cabinet is beautiful and what a great price.
    I always enjoy the tour of antiques and your sharing with us what you find is the best.
    xo,
    Karen

    Reply
  33. Lynnett Ratchford

    Oh, my dear Miss Mustard Seed you’ve done it again! You’ve snagged treasure upon treasure, and what a variety. For the deer head Buck came to my mind as well, but if you are looking for an English library look Buck sounds very midwestern. Someday you or your readers should visit the antique shows in the Round Top, Texas area. They actually cover weeks on the calendar and acres over the countryside from fields to halls to buildings meant just for them. Consider it antique shows on steroids. Of course, you know what they say, “everything’s bigger in Texas.” I read the book review in Cottages and Bungalows! Congratulations!

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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