Dexter Antiquarians Celebrating 50 Years Of Affiliation

By Lynne Beauchamp,

With information provided by Joanne Wiertella

What started as a group of ladies learning how to refinish furniture has become an antique enthusiasts club in its 50th year. 

In 1969, Gloria Brigham was teaching furniture refinishing and chair caning through Dexter Community Education classes. Many of the students at the time were also interested in antiques. This was the beginnings of the Dexter Antiquarians Club. 

The Club started meeting at the old Dexter Library on Baker Road monthly September through June. Soon thereafter the Club listened to guest speakers and took group trips to area museums, antique dealers and shows. At the time, club dues were $2 and the first overnight trip took place in 1978.

At the 40th Anniversary of the club, members celebrated at the historical 5ive Restaurant within The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth. A booklet recording the history of the club’s activities, programs, memberships and travels was provided.

Now in its 50th year, the club continues a similar path-meeting monthly September through May, listening to guest speakers at the Dexter Historical Museum and enjoying a variety of day trips to places of historical interest like the Honolulu House Museum in Marshall and the Lost Railway Museum in Grass Lake. 

Brigham continues to be a charter member in the club, along with life long members Phyllis Crawley and Shirley Hart.

“It isn’t very often that a voluntary club like this lasts this long,” said club member Joanne Wiertella “and is still going strong.”

Wiertella said the club continues to accept new members and is open to those who are interested in antiques or would like to learn.  The club usually meets at the Dexter Historical Museum and Wiertella said that in addition to learning about antiques, the club is a great place to make new friends.

For more information on the Dexter Antiquarians, contact Joanne Wiertella or at 734-426-8346.

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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