Queen City Flea Market on 1 Bennett Lane in Cumberland, Maryland may be one of the state’s best kept shopping secrets. Locals know it and love it. Serious antiques and collectibles buyers shop there. Still, the place doesn’t have a Web site and online map services like Google Maps can’t find Bennett Lane. (Head to Franklin Street between the railroad tracks and Columbia Avenue.)
Its relative obscurity actually adds to its allure. Orion’s Attic found it by accident on a random day trip to Cumberland, feeling like we had just stepped through a corn field to find our own indoor, three-story field of dreams. The place was packed with all kinds of stuff and shoppers were buying it with gusto. We promptly chose to join the large roster of vendor selling in the market by obtaining our first space there despite the 130-mile one-way drive from our base in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The decision turned out to be a great one. Many months later, we have now added yet another space to our domain — linking about five spaces together on the third floor … Queen City’s own attic, if you will. Find our clearly marked section by going up the stairs to the third floor and heading toward the life-size cardboard stand-up of John Wayne. We fill our vast array of floor space with truckloads of collectibles and a few small pieces of furniture and discount it all by 50 percent because we are currently overwhelmed by inventory. You can scoop it up year-round on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
We’ve done very well there. Just as important, we’ve had a heck of a lot of fun getting to know owner Lenny, manager Roxanne, vendor Dave (who works at the site to manage his cavernous flea market real estate) and many other vendors and staff members. Won-ok and I learned very early in our entrepreneurial lives that one key to our happiness is making sure we only do business with people we enjoy spending time with. Staff and shoppers alike fit that bill at the Queen City Flea Market.
We love our regular “commute” to the Cumberland mountains. We bring new merchandise to replace what has sold, visit our friends there, and then go goof off around town and around the area. Queen City has been our passport to the northwest Maryland region.
And oh by the way, you should absolutely make a point to visit the market — heading to the Orion’s Attic section on the third floor first, of course.
Here’s just a partial list of what’s on our shelves: Colored glass of all colors and varieties; Barbies, Hess trucks and other fun toys that even grown-ups love; alcohol and tobacco collectibles including glasses, mugs, clocks and other items with various beer company logos along with an unusual collection of ash trays and lighters; Elvis and Beatles records and memorabilia; massive amounts of china; oil lamps; vintage kitchen items; a nifty collection of figurines (animals, Hummels, and others including some made in occupied Japan); a bit of pottery; post cards; art; end tables and chairs; seasonal items (currently featuring a huge Christmas display including Keepsake ornaments, Santa Claus figures, candles, porcelain, etc.); all kinds of home decor and household goods. See more than 200 photos of our section in our Queen City photo album on the Orion’s Attic Facebook page.
We bring boxes and boxes of stuff every time we visit, sometimes selling it as fast as we unpack it. Find out what we’re bringing next by “Liking” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/orionsattic (where you can also tell us what you would like for us to bring). You can find out about all of our latest news and upcoming events by signing up for our e-newsletter from the top of our Orion’s Attic home page and by following this blog.
Make plans now to head to Cumberland, explore the city and all it has to offer and romp around Queen City Flea Market — especially our section on the third floor. Be sure to say hello to Roxanne and Dave and tell them that Orion’s Attic sent you.
Don’t forget you can also find our antiques and collectibles in stores including Copper Fox Antiques in Sperryville, Virginia; Old Glory in Frederick, Maryland; Hancock Antiques Mall in Hancock, Maryland. Be sure to attend our estate sales and Upscale Yard Sales, too.