Dublin antique store owner shares hidden treasures along U.S. 40

Patricia McDaniel and Ms. Forty
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Posted at 7:53 AM, Jun 04, 2024

DUBLIN — If you’re heading east to west in Central Indiana, you may be tempted to take the interstate.

But one Wayne County woman would encourage you to take a drive on the National Road instead.

Countrysides, old buildings and small towns quietly sit on the sides of what was once nicknamed the “The Main Street of America.”

That’s U.S. 40.

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Along its path, the peaceful town of Dublin, Indiana.

It’s home to Patricia McDaniel and her canine companion Ms. Forty, lovingly named in honor of the historic highway.

“Since I’ve had kidney disease, I don’t drive anymore, because I tire easily. But I’ve been cross country," McDaniel said. “824 miles each way, four times.”

U.S. 40 was built between 1811 and 1834 to reach the west.

In the 1960s, Interstate 70, leaving many businesses by the wayside, bypassed Route 40 and much of the National Road.

The emphasis was on faster cars and quicker arrival time.

“People are afraid to get off of 70 and go a back road and to me there’s nothing better than to fill up a tank of gas and say ‘let’s go’ and you don’t know where you’re gonna end up," McDaniel said.

McDaniel has been running Old Storefront Antiques since 1985.

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The antique store has eight rooms of hidden gems from yesteryear — many items from the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

“Country store, primitives, tins and when I started out, it was anything above the dump," McDaniel said.

In 2004, she created the Historic National Road Yard Sale Days.

McDaniel says the idea is that yard sale aficionados can search for roadside treasures, from Baltimore to St. Louis.

“It’s the thrill of the hunt. And you never know what you’re gonna find around the bend," McDaniel said.

McDaniel insists there has never been a committee or official organization since the yard sale's inception, and she plans to keep it that way.

“I’ve been a renegade. I enjoy doing things differently," McDaniel said.

The Yard Sale takes place annually the weekend after Memorial Day.

McDaniel encourages folks to stop along the roadside and visit small towns like hers year round.