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Downtown Snohomish fair boasts more than your typical antiques

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Published on Tue, May 11, 2010 by JOURNAL STAFF

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When Doug Rhoades decided to renovate his home in Leadville, Colorado in the late 1990’s, he had no idea he would find cans of corned beef under his house — that is, cans of corned beef from the 1870’s with labels that would leave historians speechless.

Seventy cans of food with some of the earliest-known labels, and one visit to a taping of PBS’s program “The Antiques Roadshow” later, Rhoades’ accidental discovery would forever change the way he would look at what some would consider “junk.”

Rhoades, who now resides in Snohomish, will be appearing along with his cans, at the second-annual Historic Downtown Snohomish Antiques and Arts Faire on Saturday, May 15.

Nestled in the beautiful Snohomish River valley, hugged by the Cascade mountains, the quaint town of Snohomish is the last and best destination for true antiquing. Boasting more than 300 antiques dealers as well as boutiques and eateries, the diversity of the shops is sure to please everyone. 

From the gourmet food vendors to the more than 50 antiques dealers and artists, the open-air market attracted more than 5,000 visitors last year.

“People who antique are looking for those rare pieces you don’t see every day,” Kimberly McIlrath, Historic Downtown Snohomish president says. “As a major hot spot for antiques, we see people every day saying: ‘wow, I’ve never seen anything like this before.’”

Similar was the exclamation Rhoades frequently heard about his cans. So much so, that Rhodes was prompted to write a book in 2005, detailing his finds.

The fair, which will be located between First Street and Union Avenue, will run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. with free admission and parking.

For more information, visit or e-mail

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