This couple has made the 20-hour drive from Corunna, Indiana, to Round Top, Texas, for nearly 30 years. Each season, Don and Marta Orwig bring two semis filled with antiques. Don, long-time wheeler and dealer, is hesitant to show his hand on any particular pieces they’re bringing this time ’round, because he says customers will want to buy them before they can put them on the truck.
“What we do say is that we bring the very best things we have found in the last six months,” Don says. We are known for unusual, odd and unique American pieces. We love old advertising signs and have some killer ones to bring this spring.” He adds, “We do have a barn find, an original red 1958 Chevy 3100 pick-up truck for sale. Don’s affinity for barn finds goes way back. Raised in a farming family, Don would accompany his parents to auctions when he was just a boy. This is where he credits getting his start in the business of buying and selling, on a small scale, using his allowance money. It was in college at Purdue University in 1972 that Don made the leap into antiques after borrowing a few hundred dollars from his dad to score an entire lot at an incredibly low cost. He loaded and unloaded his Chevy truck nine times and used this haul to open his first store in Corunna.
He began coming to Round Top in 1990 when Karen Anderson, a dealer from nearby Fort Wayne, Indiana, invited him to share a booth with her at Emma Lee Turney’s Antiques Show. Emma Lee Turney, “The Grand Dame of Round Top,” was, of course, the visionary and founder of the original Round Top Antiques Show. That year, he sold nearly everything he brought, and he’s been coming ever since.
Don and Marta are happy to have found their home at Market Hill.
“We have been setting up at the Round Top shows for nearly 30 years. Having done shows from Maine to Colorado and all points between, there is no other venue anywhere in the U.S. that offers the quality and quantity that the dealers here at Market Hill do.”
He says the amenities like air conditioning, the restaurant, public restrooms and being able to have a glass of wine are among the other perks for Market Hill customers. Being open for a good stretch of time helps too, for vendors and customers.
“Most shows are only open for a day, maybe two or three. Being open here at Market Hill over the course of two weeks lets many more customers have the opportunity to plan day trips or weeklong trips to shop. It gives everyone a chance to buy and sell to a much wider audience.”
“Market Hill is just this kind of experience. A unique collection of some of the very best dealers at Round Top. Most have years of experience, generous personalities and a great desire to give the customers a warm and comfortable shopping trip plus the food at Market Hill is the absolute best of any of the fields.”
“Doing antiques shows is really our life. Our friends are mostly all in the business. We get to see each other every fall and spring. We socialize together, eat at our favorite restaurants, catch up on what each other has found in the last six months. We even get to buy from one another and try to ‘out-do’ each other in sales. Antiques dealers are really quite a special diverse bunch of very nice people,” Don says.
According to Marta, “This is our home for as long as they will have us.”
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