By Ray Augenstein
Parkside Flea Market, covering 3 ½ acres of land has been on the corner of Townline Lake Rd and North Clare Ave in Harrison, for 26 years. Ray and Carol Peterson, owners of the Flea Market, started it in 1982, and have seen it filled to capacity in its early years.
Vendors from all across Michigan and other states would stand in line to be able to rent a space in this Flea Market, and it has been known as one of the most popular Flea Markets in the state. Visitors from states as far away as Florida, and Oklahoma, have enjoyed shopping at the Flea Market, and have come away with special treasures not found any place else.
On opening day each year, the crowds could be seen filling the aisles, from early morning until closing time. If you had visited there, you would have found anything you needed, or didn’t know that you needed until you saw it, everything from potholders, to military surplus, from quilts to fishing equipment, and everything in between. Vendors would often dicker with you to find a price that would fit your pocket book, and still help them to make a sale.
Behind the Flea Market is a rustic campsite for up to 20 trailers, where vendors could set up camp for the season and still be close to their rented space.
Meeting at the Flea Market was an event family and friends would often schedule to get together, to enjoy a day of fun and shopping. It was almost like having a scavenger hunt with your friends, seeing who could find the best bargain. If you got tired or hungry, you could sit on one of the benches located along the aisles, or stroll over to the concession trailer for a Sandwich or drink.
Now the Flea Market is up for sale. Ray and Carol Peterson, feel that it is time to give it up. After 26 years, they are tired and want to retire and take it easy. What is going to happen to the flea market is anybody’s guess. They say it needs someone younger and more energetic. Someone who is computer savvy, and has the time to work on all the projects that needs to be done.