We look back at half a century of Round Top Antiques Week and how it began with one woman and 22 antiques dealers at the old Rifle Hall in Round Top, Texas.
This week, the Original Round Top Antiques Fair kicked off its 50th Fall Antiques Week in Round Top, Texas, with vendors from throughout the country and the world. During this weeklong extravaganza, a stretch of Central Texas plays host to a horde of shops, shows, and shoppers new and old, all of whom converge on this flea-market haven.
“I give original credit where credit is due, and that would be with Ms. Emma Lee Turney,” Suzy Kirchberg says. “Ms. Emma is the original founder of the shows and was very much a part of everything that developed out here during the earlier years ... . She was able to draw in ‘big buyers’ and ‘important dealers’ to our small, rural community and make a visible impact.”
Kirchberg is the publisher and editor of the Show Daily, the go-to source of who, what, where, and when for anything and everything in Round Top and the surrounding communities like Warrenton, Carmine, Fayetteville, and beyond.
“The events out here started growing by word of mouth,” Kirchberg says. “Dealers started showing up with things to sell, shoppers started showing up wanting to buy those things. No one really organized anything (other than Ms. Emma). It just happened. Farmers started renting out little pieces of their pastures or front porches. It just all happened on its own really. That, in itself, is rather amazing. It still works very much like that to this day. It is rather exceptional, in that aspect.”
Kirchberg and her husband are also antique dealers, and they’ve seen the show grow bigger and bigger — with places like Market Hill by Paul Michael Company — since first coming to Round Top in 1993. In 2000, they stayed for good and started the Show Daily. “It was much, much smaller then, says Kirchberg. “Marburger didn’t exist. There were just a few dealers and areas in Warrenton.”
The couple started mapping things out while they shopped. “We started mapping during the first show that we came, but we were doing it for ourselves. We created Show Daily to help the shoppers and the dealers. It started out as a little 12-page tabloid,” says Kirchberg. “The rest is history. We haven’t missed a show since.”
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fall Antiques Week, C&I asked Kirchberg to share with our readers some of her must-know favorites about Round Top.
The Original Round Top Antiques Fair | September 25 – 30, 2017
“Shop. Visit. Shop. Visit some more. The shows are almost like a big, giant family reunion ... with stuff for sale.”
Junk Gypsy Junk-o-Rama Prom | October 5, 2017
“A MUST for first-timers would be the Junk Gypsy Co. Junk-o-Rama Prom night. It’s crazy fun. That will be the evening of October 5 this season. Guys and gals get all decked out in petticoats and crazy outfits, everyone comes out to dance in the fields to live music, drink beer or Champagne, and just have a good time. It is one big party.”
Ya Ya Gurlz Grand Opening and Live Auction | September 29, 2017
“The Ya Ya Gurlz have a big party planned this year that I suspect will quickly become a Warrenton tradition. They are a mother-daughter team, high-energy. That will be September 29. Proceeds are going to local Hurricane Harvey victims [nearby La Grange and Columbus were hard hit with flooding during the storm].”
Photography: Courtesy Original Round Top Antiques Fair