In his 19 years as owner of Yankee Peddler West, Vince O’Connor has seen turn-of-the-century posters, a map of the United States from the 1850s and an original 1820s Swedish loom come through his store.
“Every day it seems you have something new,” O’Connor said. “I’m an expert at learning.”
Yankee Peddler West joins Junktion Flea Market, Park Avenue Antiques and Uncle Sam’s in calling downtown Fremont home.
Billed as “Eastern Nebraska’s Antique Capital,” each of the four stores has its own specialty, ranging from war collectibles to furniture.
“It’s amazing that you can find anything from barn woods to unique books and china,” said Shannon Mullen, executive director of the Fremont and Dodge County Visitors Bureau.
The stores are all located within walking distance of one another. The close proximity gives customers a wide assortment of items to choose from and lets them experience Fremont’s small-town atmosphere.
“When people go antiquing, they want to go to an area where there’s a variety. That’s what we have here in Fremont,” O’Connor said.
The businesses work together to help clients find what they’re seeking. If a customer asks O’Connor for an item he doesn’t have, he refers the person to one of the other stores.
“They have such a great camaraderie with each other,” Mullen said. “There is a great relationship between all of the stores down here.”
The majority of O’Connor’s customers come from outside Fremont and Dodge County. He has had customers from as far away as Europe and Japan.
“Every antiquer has something they can enjoy,” Mullen said. “The mix here is almost overwhelming.”