The Speckled Hen offers timeless treasures

BY STACIE BOSTON
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
05/03/2017 08:15 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizens Bill Campbell and Cheryl Horn operate The Speckled Hen, an antique flea market in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The shop has been in the area for nearly 40 years with a portion of those years being run by Horn’s family. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
A booth with items including jewelry, wall hangings and glassware is located at The Speckled Hen in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Cherokee Nation citizens Bill Campbell and Cheryl Horn, who run the store, said there are approximately 140 “rentable spaces” for customers to browse. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Speckled Hen and its vendors offer various items such as Coca-Cola memorabilia. The Speckled Hen is comprised of five rooms and is located at 5227 S. Muskogee Ave. in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Opened in 1979, The Speckled Hen has changed ownerships throughout its nearly 40-year journey. But under Cherokee Nation citizens Bill Campbell and Cheryl Horn – along with help from family members, previous owners and those who rent space at the establishment – the antique flea market still is providing timeless treasures to the Tahlequah area.

Cheryl said her mother and stepfather purchased the business in 1999 and sold it in 2002.

“When they first bought it they added the booths. Then they added the, we call that the ‘add-on’ room. As the other buildings became available they added toward the north,” she said.

She said the business was later sold to Bob and Luella Lankford and her uncle and aunt Johnny and Carol Horn before eventually going to Cheryl’s cousin Robbie.

In March 2016, Campbell bought the business when Cheryl's cousin decided to pursue other interests. Cheryl said over the years the shop has expanded and now has five “rooms,” which includes the “add-on” room.

Campbell said he wasn’t sure on the shop’s size, but to give a scope of how big it is, the customers’ first reaction usually is “this place just keeps going and going and going.”

“Most of the comments we get are, ‘I didn’t realize this place was this big,’ or they will say, ‘this place just keeps going and going and going.’ That happens a lot,” he said.

Campbell said the store has roughly 140 booths, or rentable spaces, that include shelves and wall space, with approximately 130 vendors.

“There are a few vendors that do have more than one booth,” he said.

The store offers an array of items from antiques to more recent items. It also has a wall dedicated to cast iron cooking wares.

Campbell said the items are typically “affordable.” Quality collectables and practical usability items are also available.

“Nine times out of 10 I would dare say within these walls it is uber affordable. Not trying to say we’re undercutting anyone, but our vendors set their prices. We don’t set the prices,” he said.

Campbell said it means a lot to him that the store offers items that people “treasure.”

“It really ties into that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. I judge it by the comments. You get the standard, ‘I had one of those when I was a kid. I’ve been looking for one of those for forever. I can’t believe you had this.’ Or you get, ‘this is the item that I’ve been looking for that’s going to be the perfect birthday, wedding gift.’ That happens a lot,” he said. “There is value in those emotions. There is value in those rewarding moments. Just by being here and being open and someone coming in and finding that item, you made their day.”

Campbell said he credits the store’s longevity to it staying family orientated and local.

“I think one of the reasons why it’s lasted is it has stayed local. It has stayed family. People coming in the door already knew these people outside of here. So it’s friendly in nature,” he said.

Horn credits some of the store’s longevity to its parking space.

“We have more parking sometimes and it’s easier to get in and out,” she said.

The Speckled Hen is located at 5227 S. Muskogee Ave. and is on Facebook under “The Speckled Hen Antique Flea Market.”

The Speckled Hen is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and closed Monday.

For more information, call 918-458-0032 or visit www.thespeckledhenok.com.

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