A trip back to the Columbus Antique Mall

IMG_2132Thomas has started busing tables occasionally at our friends restaurant which means he had some money burning a hole is his pocket. All 3 of my kids are pretty good savers but every now and then they like to actually buy something with their money. Thomas was lying on the couch the other day listening to his iPod when all of a sudden he took off his head phones and said he wanted to go to the antique mall. OK I said, but why? He very excitedly exclaimed he wanted to buy a sword. The last time we went both him and Daniel spent quite a bit of time looking at the swords that were tucked away in one the many cases. Both wanting to buy one but not having enough money with them. So it must have just occurred to Thomas that he finally has enough cash to buy a sword.

So being the good (or is that crazy?) mom that I am, I took Thomas to the Antique store so he could search for a sword. He went directly to the correct room (which is amazing in itself since this building has many levels and many, many rooms) and called on the intercom for someone to come please open up the locked case.

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The worker that was kind enough to show Thomas all the swords and told us about 1 other case in the store that had civil war swords. We did go look at those but they were about $600-$800, just a little out of our budget. After doing a quick once through of the building and finding a scythe (how amazing is that?) we went back to the first cabinet so Thomas could get his sword. Again the same worker really tried to point us towards the civil war swords because real swords have more value than a replica. Yeah well the replicas are $50 and Thomas is 13, I think we can live with them not actually having been used to kill someone in the past. Although the one Thomas chose could be real, we really don’t know. As Thomas said it could have been stuck in an arm pit before (because in medieval times that was where there was an opening in the armor.)

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All alone I ventured into the attic of the building, while the building is rumored to be haunted the attic isn’t a spot that the ghosts are normally spotted (but it still feels a little creepy.) During the summer this area is miserably hot but since it is winter it was very chilly instead. Which added to the feeling that a spirit was following me around.

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I think Beth would really appreciate all the vintage clothes and very sexy mannequins.

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Both Thomas and I thought these hands were a bit creepy, it made me think of souls trying to escape hell.

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I love this wall hanging it is so bright and festive and so out of place in the antique mall.

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This room also seems out of place, the rest of the rooms are kind of dark and dreary than there’s this Floridian room.

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Back at home Thomas decided to take care of those troublesome snowmen that have been plaguing the city.

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We will not have to fear snowmen ever again.

And just in case you’re reading this and thinking that you will never let your children over here to play with Thomas, don’t worry we do actually have rules regarding the weapons. They are to hang on the wall and be looked at only, they are NOT for sword fighting in the back yard unless he is alone.

Homeschooling…but what do we do??

That’s a big question, our neighbor and graduated homeschooler is working on a college research project looking at different groups in society. She chose homeschoolers and came along to our co-op to observe. After 2 weeks of observing she interviewed a few of the participants. When she interviewed me she asked what our homeschool day looks like, what type of program do we use, do we have a typical day? Um… well first off every day is different, dictated by what outside activities are going on. Our type of homeschooling is community based (I just made that up) we don’t spend a lot of time at home doing school work.

One thing we do, that we really love is our Friday co-op, all the moms teach different topics to a group of 26 kids. This session we have been studying Medieval times. So Thomas in his literature class has read Beowulf and is now reading Canterbury Tales, he also does a gym class, and a music class where they are writing and performing a medieval musical. Then we all eat lunch and move on to a large group activity. Every 2 weeks is taught by a different pair of moms and covers a different medieval topic. So far the topics have included: overview of Medieval Times & architecture, Medieval medicine and herbs, a day in the life of Medieval people…Armor, chivalry and becoming a knight.

We’ve also had to 2 field trips trips to local castles: Loveland Castle & Mac-O-Chee castle (which isn’t really a castle after all.)

For my 2 weeks I provided wooden shields and swords that were used when the kids were knighted. The kids went through stations learning about being a page, squire and finally a knight. And you certainly can not be knight without your weapons!

Here is Thomas working on cutting out 1 of the 30 swords that needed to be done. He also helped cut out and sand all the shields that we made.

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That purple sword that we were using as a template is actually my sword. Beth claims I gave it to her but I don’t think so, I’m pretty sure that Shera Princess of Power needs her own sword!

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After having some technical difficulties with the band saw (thanks to Daniel breaking the blade) Dan had to hop in and help or we may never have finished. After the band saw proved fruitless Dan switched over to the jigsaw to finish up.

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Here is the group pledging their Code of Honor and preparing to be knighted by me Queen Sheila
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Pauli and Thomas were having a serious battle, I think Pauli may have got the best of Thomas.

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Next Beth jumped in, why is everyone picking on poor Pauli?

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Pauli the victor!

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Trip to Loveland Castle

This year we’re studying medieval history in our co-op, what better way to start than a trip to a castle, Loveland Castle to be precise:

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My boys always seem to find weapons no matter where they are. Hopefully Thomas’ friend isn’t fearing for his life. IMG_3893 IMG_3894 IMG_3895 IMG_3906 IMG_3919 IMG_3920

This was a knights castle and it’s sole purpose was to house the knights and not allow entry by the enemy. We learned why these stairs were an important guard against attack. The enemy, if they make it through the very heavy wooden door will not make it upstairs without you taking out a significant number of them.

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Of course, Thomas found where they were selling weapons and just had to have a dagger. I really don’t understand the fascination with weapons. Daniel came home for an hour this evening to eat dinner with us and the first thing he did was get on my computer to show me the Scottish Claymore Sword that he plans on buying. Why????

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It was a lovely day at the castle with friends and our tour guide was  a hoot. He definitely kept everyone entertained and was a wealth of knowledge about the castle!

Treasure Hunting

The Greater Columbus Antique Mall is an awesome store just south of the brewery district in Columbus. It’s room after room after room of individually owned antique booths. It’s so big you could get lost in it. Daniel heard me talking about it and wanted to go check it out. I didn’t think it was what he was expecting but I figured what the heck, pretty much anytime my teenagers want to do something with me I think that’s a great thing. So both the boys and I headed out to look for treasures.

The antique store ended up being a huge hit with the boys. When we pulled up the building Daniel said it doesn’t look that big (I had described it as being massive.) I told him to just wait it was like in Harry Potter the tent they took to the Quidditch match, it doesn’t look big from the outside but the inside is magically immense. When we got inside he immediately agreed.

The boys especially liked all the (real) swords they were finding, locked away in cabinets. There are intercoms throughout the bldg so you can call someone to come unlock all the cabinets. Thomas kept one of the workers busy, calling to look at all the different treasures. She was always nice to the boys, she even said she had never had anyone ask to see the swords so she was happy to get them all out for them.

In the end Thomas bought a pocket knife $4 (but he has plans to save up his money and go back for a sword.)

Daniel bought a record player $6 and 2 Zippo lighters (why Zippos lighters, I don’t know? total $19

And I bought an antique kitchen scale and a very old toy truck and camper for my Dad’s train collection, total $45

When looking for a their web site online (they don’t seem to have one) I read this review:

3 full floors from furniture to toys! BUT be aware, I have seen haunts in this place. Part of this used to be a funeral parlor. Feels like someone is shopping with you, even when you are alone!

Which I think makes it even more fun! And caused me to do some more searching on line:

Here’s a story from The Other Paper about the store and the ghosts:

October 9-15, 2003
By Chad Painter

Patt Altevogt believes in ghosts. She has owned the Greater Columbus Antique Mall with her husband, Fred, since 1979, and she’s convinced the building shelters a number of antique souls as well.

One occurrence happened two weeks ago, when she heard children playing with old toy cars in an upstairs room. There wasn’t anybody in the building except her and an employee–an employee with no toy cars, we might add.

“I was sitting on the bench, the lights were off and it was quiet,” Altevogt said. “I heard the children playing, and I said, ‘I hear something up the front stairs.'”

That’s when the employee said that he’d been hearing the same thing too, but didn’t want to say anything.

Then there’s the security system. When it’s tripped, microphones start recording. Altevogt said she hears thumping on the tapes, but when she and Fred arrive at the store, nothing has been disturbed.

“We finally quit coming to check things out,” she said.

The building, at 1045 S. High St., was built as a private residence in the late 1800s, she said. It housed two different funeral homes in the 1920s and ’30s, and an Elks Lodge from the ’40s to the ’70s.

Some customers won’t go into one room upstairs because they feel like they’re being choked there. Before escorting The Other Paper into the room, Altevogt reassuringly said, “I’ve never felt anything in here.”

Altevogt said that employees have seen a tall man with a handlebar mustache wearing a brown suit (matching the description of a photograph of the original embalmer), a woman walking down a back hallway wearing a Gone With the Wind-era yellow desk, and a man wearing a black cape. Upon seeing the black-caped man a second time, one employee promptly quit.

Another employee swears a ghost brushed past her twice, Altevogt said. Yet another saw an orb come out of a wall, pass over him and head down a hallway.

“Everybody that works here has stories,” Fred Altevogt said.

He has one himself. On Thursdays, he said, there’s a distinct aroma of Italian food near an old pop machine (which happens to sit a few feet from a bench where people sometimes hear a couple of old ladies talking).

“I used to get spooked, but I’ve gotten used to it,” Patt Altevogt said. “Things have been happening for 15 years. New things come. Old things die off.”

Tammy Heimerl, an Antique Mall employee, still gets spooked. She said that she can’t go into a back room because it smells like death: “It makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.”

She also doesn’t like to go into the attic, although Altevogt said nothing has ever happened there. Maybe not, but Heimerl said she always thinks someone is watching her when she’s up there: “I fly down those steps.”

Despite all this, Altevogt has decided against having the building ghost proofed.

“I thought about having someone come in and bless it,” she said, “but I think it adds to the charm.”

Altevogt expects more charming hauntings, and soon.

“Any time we talk about it, something happens,” she said. “Something will probably happen tonight.”

I had never been in the attic before, it gets confusing with all the different staircases and rooms so I didn’t even realize there was an attic. But this time an employee told us about it when I was asking if there were 2 different upstairs (there are.) She mentioned that it is filled with a lot of inexpensive items, so Daniel and I went and checked it out. It was extremely hot up there so we didn’t stay long. No signs of ghosts and the only choking we felt was from the extreme heat. But if I had read this story before we went I would not have let Thomas go up there alone.