The Antiques Capital of Georgia is losing its largest dealer of old but not forgotten things. Ian Henderson’s Antique Mall will shut down on June 30, after close to 20 years in Monroe, the last seven at the Walton Mill on South Broad Street.
Ian Henderson, and his father John, will be shifting their operations to a location on Highway 441 in Milledgeville.
Ian said he would have loved to keep the 85,000 square foot mall open in Monroe, but the Holder family, who owns the mill, wanted to go in a different direction.
“We’ve outgrown everything in Monroe and now this building is outgrowing me,” he said.
“But business is business. We’ve got no ill feelings toward the Holders,” he added.
Gabel Holder confirmed that his family has new plans for the space.
“This summer we’ll be making improvements to the building and expect to have a new tenant operating in the space by the fall,” he said.
“We’re grateful to the Hendersons. They were our first tenant, and we wish them all the best in the future.”
When John opened Warehouse Antique Mall on Davis Street in 2001, Monroe and Walton County were not the antiques hotbed they are today.
“When we started, there was no other antiques business in Monroe. We’re very proud of that,” John said.
The business grew through the years and in 2010, they moved their operation to the Monroe Cotton Mill on South Madison.
John said the 48,000 square foot location filled up with dealers in less than three days. Ian said that for the majority of the time they were operating in the Monroe Cotton Mill, they had a dealer waiting list 2,000 deep.
Two years later, the family moved to the bigger mill on South Broad Street.
Today, it houses about 400 dealers, from all over.
“We’ve got people from Florida, Texas, Virginia, everywhere,” Ian said.
Since then, the mall has grown into a serious attraction, and an anchor for the thriving antiques scene Monroe and Walton County is today.
It’s the largest antique mall in the Southeast, according to the Walton County Chamber of Commerce.
Whether it will continue to thrive without it’s largest mall will remain to be seen.
“We’re very disappointed. We’re worried about the future of antiques in Monroe,” John said.
“I just don’t know.”
But all good things must come to an end, and Ian said he is looking forward to managing a somewhat smaller mall near Lake Sinclair in Milledgeville.
“We’ve had a good run,” he said.
“It’s been quite an accomplishment and we want to thank Monroe for that,” John said.