When I was a little girl, The Hub was a haberdashery in downtown Lewistown. It was where my mom and I would go to buy my dad a special tie or dress shirt for Father’s Day or his birthday. It closed in the late 1970’s and has had several incarnations since (including, as the sandstone façade still attests, a ski shop in the early 80’s called Ullr’s Adventures).
In 2007, Joan Thomas decided to make her lifelong hobby—and keen eye for—collecting into a business, opening The Hub Antiques & Collectibles. “I’m not an appraiser or anything,” says Thomas. “I just fill the shop with things I like.”
And what does she like? “Vintage. I love vintage.” That would explain the abundance of exquisite western shirts, Pendleton ponchos, rhinestone costume jewelry, and 1940’s ball gowns—not to mention shelves and table tops brimming with milk glass, McCoy pitchers and glassware in every shade of the rainbow.
“I’ve got a wide variety of mid-century,” says Thomas. From a bright orange Catherine Holm fondue pot with lotus petal design (which yours truly snagged with a set of 6 fondue forks for a mere $34) to psychedelic spaghetti swag pendant lights and Eames-esque molded plastic side chairs in avocado green ($95 each), the shop is a veritable treasure trove of cool, colorful kitsch.
“I’ve got a pretty big kitchen department. A lot of glass and linens,” says Thomas. From vintage aprons to polka dotted juice glasses and Fire King mixing bowls emblazoned with cheery red tulips, there is nary an empty space on any of the antique Hoosiers’ shelves. “My Pyrex collection is pretty good,” she admits. “People come in from all over and say it’s one of the biggest they’ve ever seen.”
If The Hub were in Austin, prices would be four or five times higher, and it’d still be cleaned out. Thomas’ vintage shirts are truly worthy of an alt-country star. I collect items with Hereford cows (of which she has many). Last year I bought my daughter a classic Holly Hobbie doll straight out of the box for $12 and snagged her twin brother a cool beaded boys’ western belt for $10.
What really sets The Hub apart—and I dig through dusty antique shops all over the country—is how clean and bright it is. Every item just sparkles. “I hear that all the time,” smiles Thomas. “People walk in and say, ‘Oh, it’s like a house with lots of little rooms,’” The funny thing is, the space is large and open. But Thomas created “rooms” with tall pieces of furniture and display cases. It’s fun to weave in and out of the traffic flow she’s created; you never know what fun item you’re going to find when you pop around a corner.
211 West Main Street
Lewistown, Montana 59457
Open 11:00 am – 4:00 pm-ish; it’s always a good idea to call in advance
Closed Wednesdays & Sundays
Cash or checks only. No credit or debit cards.