Vendors have been selling their treasures — just about everything imaginable — at the Admiral Flea Market for decades.
The next time they set up, it will be part of a farewell tour.
It was announced on the Admiral Flea Market’s Facebook page that the flea market will close at the end of 2019. Big deal?
“It’s a landmark, to me,” Broken Arrow’s Chris Schumaker said Friday.
Schumaker, standing in the Admiral Flea Market parking lot, said he has been coming to the flea market since he was a kid in the 1990s. Now, he works as a gatekeeper and sells items there. He acknowledged he will be sad to see the flea market close.
The news about the pending closure was shared at 3:20 p.m. Thursday.
“This comes with a heavy heart to announce,” the Facebook post said. “With the support of the family, (owner Sam Bogue) has decided to retire. The Admiral Flea Market, after 39 years, is closing at the end of 2019. We will continue to sale and be open every weekend until the end of the year. More information to follow.”
Contacted by the Tulsa World, the flea market’s ownership did not want to make additional comments at this time.
Reaction to the Facebook post was swift, significant and nostalgic. In the first 24 hours after the announcement, the Facebook post had been shared more than 1,000 times, and it had generated more than 300 comments.
• Amber M. Chambers: “Some of my most fond childhood memories (are from) this flea market. My granny, Delpha Price, had a booth there for many years ‘til her health stopped her. Every weekend I was there with her and, when I’d get tired, I’d just take a nap under one of her tables.”
• Alexea Yochum: “My grandfather went for at least 15 years, before he passed in 2000, almost every weekend. He’d get hot peanuts and walk around with his cigar and red Mitchell Fence hat talking to vendors he knew. (I have) a lot of memories there, spending weekends with him when I was younger. Enjoy your retirement Sam.”
• Laurel Kerner: “I can’t believe this. It’s like losing part of my family. Love you all. You are all my family.”
• Rendi Conn: “Is there no way it can be saved and kept open? This place has given so much to Tulsa over the years.”
Responses from the Admiral Flea Market to commenters clarified that the business is not being sold and reiterated that the closure is retirement-driven. Said one response: “Unfortunately at this time, as a three-generation owned and operated family business, we have decided to move on with our own adventures. Who knows what will happen though!”
An east Tulsa institution, the Admiral Flea Market is located west of the traffic circle at Admiral Place and Mingo Road. There are flea markets on the north and south sides of Admiral Place. The Admiral Flea Market occupies the north turf with indoor and outdoor vendors. Ashley’s Great American Flea Market will remain in operation on the south side of Admiral Place.
The Admiral Flea Market’s online site said the flea market has been family-owned and -operated since 1980. The site said the flea market started with 50,000 square feet (and 56 booths) inside. The site said the flea market can, behind the building, accommodate 260 booths, nine buildings, two barns and six hut booths that sit on 4 acres.
The Admiral Flea Market, 9401 E. Admiral Place, is open Saturdays and Sundays. Schumaker said tables are allowed in the parking lot Thursdays and Fridays.
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