Best Kept “Antiques” Secret in Chattanooga Area

April 29, 2017 in Editorials

The Chattanooga, Tenn., area has one of the best kept secrets in the antiques market. That secret is the wonderful 15,000 square feet of antiques located just across the Tennessee-Georgia line in a small community called Ft. Oglethorpe. This shop is just off I-75, Exit 353, and a few blocks down Cloud Springs Road. You have to look off to your right and down a hill to see the mall. The name is across the front and side and there’s a huge parking lot, so you can bring your trailer to load all your treasures!

Carolyn Foreman, owner of Antiques by the Fountain, has been in the antiques business for approximately 20 years. However she has been loving, collecting and decorating her home with her favorite antique finds much longer. Carolyn’s store reflects the love she and over 30 dealers have for the trade. When you enter the store, you’ll find it is light and airy and very inviting with a fountain of florals and water trickling down with a soothing effect.

The dealers at Antiques by the Fountain all enjoy the hunt, and each has his or her own style of decorating and their love for antiques includes many different antiques and collectibles. For some, it’s the Victorian era that draws them, and their booths reflects wonderful memorabilia from that time period. In some booths, you’ll notice the French Country look or Mid Century Modern may be the theme. They offer lots fine finished furniture pieces, with some dating back to the 1800s to the 1900s and into the ’40s and ‘50s.  

If you desire a corner cabinet, this shop has several, along with pie safes, Hoosier style kitchen cabinets, and a piece that I fell in love with – a primitive shelving unit with approximately 36 cubbies for all your small collectibles, sitting on a fine primitive table. It most likely came out of a post office or hotel back in 1800s. There’s an oriental hand painted secretary that cries out “take me home”, along with a gorgeous hand painted chest and hand painted R. S. Prussia dishes! I love the great selection of antique oil lamps, some hurricane style with original globes that burn oil, and others that have been electrified. There’s a nice selection of chandeliers and hanging lamps as well.

For the girls who love frou-frou, you’ll love the booth with pinks and delicate lace, painted furniture to fancy mirrors and cherubs and vintage décor. I saw some rare and unique Capodimonte pieces too. There’s garden art and metal pieces for porches and patios. Lots of ‘50s and ‘60s kitchenware with Fire King and Pyrex galore, and reproduction cast iron and old irons. Be ready to load up the huge fountain – priced to sell- and a wonderful metal and glass fern stand that is perfect for an outdoor English garden.

Carolyn’s store manager is Leon Babbs, and he specializes in farm tools, auto and tractor memorabilia. He and Carolyn have put together a tool booth that both men and women would appreciate. It has one of the best selections around of old farm tools including a neat selection of outdoor lanterns, wagon wheels, old garden tools and signage. I have noticed Leon has several booths of mantiques and if you’re looking for something particular, like old tractor fenders or unique auto, tractor or just man items, ask Leon to help you. He may have it at home or can find it for you.

May will be a perfect time to look for a special Mother’s Day Gift. Even better, take Mom to Antiques by the Fountain for a girls day antique shopping. She’ll thank you for the perfect gift! Tell your friends the secret’s out, so plan that excursion to Antiques by the Fountain today!

by Maxine Jones, Ocoee, Tennessee