Why is This Tiny Village Considered the ‘Antique Capital of Michigan’?
Considered to be the fourth smallest village in Michigan, Allen is reported to have a population of just under 200 as of the 2010 census. Located just twelve miles from Coldwater, Allen seems to be one of Michigan's best kept secrets. I consider myself to be a thrift store junkie/antique aficionado, so why am I only just now learning of this so-called "Antique Capital of Michigan"?
The village was first established by Captain Moses Allen in 1827. Named one of the "Best Small Towns for Shopping in 2018" by a USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice poll, Allen's downtown is lined with small antique shops and dealers making it the perfect backdrop for any Hallmark movie.
According to one historical website, the number of antique stores per capita alone is enough to consider Allen the reigning "Antique Capital". The site goes on to say, "It is estimated that if you stopped at each of the booths in every antique mall for just one minute it would take you nearly three days to see them all." That's a lot of old stuff!
How Many Antique Stores are in Allen?
A quick Google search turns up eight different antique stores all within the same 2.8 mile stretch of historic US-12. Most stores like Hog Creek Antique Mall, the Allen Antique Mall, and Peddler's Alley are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. so you can get a full day's worth of antiquing in. With so many antique stores this close together, it's no wonder Michigan's Longest Garage Sale takes place along this same route!
As a kid I would hate whenever I was out riding with my mom and she'd pull over at any and every Goodwill, garage sale, Salvation Army, Mel Trotter thrift store...you get the idea. However, now that I'm an adult I find myself doing the same thing. You never know what treasures a resale shop could have in store for you unless you stop to see for yourself. Most of the time it's a miss, but there's always a chance it could be a hit!
Where do you love to go antiquing in west Michigan?