Many years ago, it could have qualified as one of the best kept secrets in Livingston Parish, but not anymore. Denham Springs Antique Village is alive and well and here to stay, despite a somewhat less than stellar beginning.
"It actually started about the 1940…and it went on to be the one of the busiest parts of the city," said Donna Jennings, director of Denham Springs Main Street. "And then, it died. It literally died."
However, due to the tenacity of a few Livingston Parish visionaries, if you build it, they will come. If you've never been, here's a brief description of what can you expect as you stroll the friendly streets of the historic district.
"That's the best part about it, because we are not just antiques any more. We've got anywhere from primitive to fine antiques. We've got gift shops, awesome baby shops, boutiques. It's unbelievable. You can do your ceramics, have it fired and have parties for your child," Jennings said.
This is also known as a Louisiana Main Street Community, a source of great pride since there are only 29 communities throughout the entire state with this distinction. But, it has its own uniqueness that makes it different and gives it a fine air of hospitality.
"One of the most important things about our village [is] we would not be where we are without our volunteers. We've got Main Street committees, stores that sponsor events. We've got the merchants' association and we've got a very progressive mayor and council," she explained.
Fortunately for the merchants, but unfortunately for the budget, Diane Deaton has known about this little gem on Range Avenue for a long time. Several of the shop owners are personal friends and everyone shares quite a history together, with stories to tell, when it comes to their collections. And speaking of stories, how cool is it that Hollywood comes here to shop?
"The movie issue is just phenomenal. I think it's just going to take off," Jennings said.
All in all, the future for Antique Village is looking as good as a fine piece of vintage jewelry.
"We have a DOTD enhancement grant that the city has received. It's been let out last month. It's going to start in about two months. People are not going to believe the difference in our district," she added.