There is a hub of activity at Early Owego Antique Center (EOAC), located at 43-45 Lake St., Owego, N.Y. This year, the business is celebrating its 10th anniversary and recently expanded to include live auctions. A multi-dealer antique mall, EOAC offers antiques, vintage collectibles, memorabilia, furniture, clothing, books, jewelry and much more. Looking back, Jim and Cornelia Mead, longtime residents of the area, wanted to bring new life to the iconic J.J. Newberry's department store, so an antique mall was born. The property had sat vacant for some time and also fell victim to extensive damage from the flood of 2011.Better days emerged, and on opening day, Feb. 14, 2013, crowds of people gathered at EOAC to welcome the new antique mall, just like the flood of people that surrounded the opening of the J.J. Newberry's department store in 1958. EOAC's second floor opened the following year. Owego is the county seat for Tioga County and represents the gateway to the Finger Lakes region from the Southern Tier. Locals and tourists alike find it a romantic river town with Victorian era charm.Today, EOAC is going strong with nearly 100 dealers on the two floors. There is a waiting list for new vendors. "It was always our goal to do something of value with the building, so the antique center is good for the Historic Owego Marketplace, and also good for the village. We are excited to be celebrating 10 years of providing our loyal shoppers with a broad assortment of ever-changing inventory with price points to fit everyone's budget," said Jim Mead. One part of EOAC's success, noted Mead, is the dedicated staff that makes customers feel welcome and assists them in finding items." Mead also credits his family, with a special nod to his wife, Cornelia, who has a finance background, and is, the "numbers person" of the business.Yet a big part of EOAC's success, Mead remarked, is from "the efforts of the vendors." EOAC offers the opportunity for local vendors to display a menagerie of items, ranging from everyday treasures to the eclectic. For guests who walk through the front entrance for the first time, and for those who are regular shoppers, it's always like a trip back in time.EOAC has nearly everything you could imagine, and dealers choose things, Mead said, that appeal to as broad a range of buyer as possible. From interior decorators, the casual and the curious, to experienced collectors, Early Owego has the variety to suit every taste.The business has now expanded to include live auctions on the lower level of the property, building on a long history of professional service in the auction industry. On Feb. 25, Mead & Sons Auctioneers hosted an inaugural live auction. Mead explained that 70 individuals attended the first live auction, and 50 of those folks walked away with a purchase. Since then, Mead & Sons has held a consignment auction every month featuring a wide variety of furniture, antiques, jewelry and decorative arts. In the near future, additional renovations are planned on the lower level to update restrooms and add a small kitchen. The spacious area offers plenty of room for storage and extra chairs for the auctions.The Mead family has an abundance of auction experience. Jim's father, Col. Jerry Mead, founded Mead & Sons Auctioneers in 1946. Jim Mead brings to the auction block six decades of experience, and joining him are his son, James Mead, and auctioneer Lucas Kaczynski. James graduated from North Carolina's Mendenhall School of Auctioneering in 2014, and Kaczynski is a graduate of the World Wide College of Auctioneering located in West Des Moines, Iowa. Another team member, Fran Antalek, is the auction floor manager, and brings to the block nearly 30 years of professional industry service and experience. Mead reminisced about his father, Jerry, who held the role of Owego Chief of Police in the early 1950s and also operated other businesses nearby, such as a bus stand where bus tickets were sold along with newspapers, tobacco, and sweet treats, hence the Mead family's footprints still linger in Owego. "Here, I own a building now, and just a few steps from where my Dad worked in his formative years," reflected Mead. In the near future, Jim envisions renting out vintage bicycles to the public, so that the Owego experience can include taking a spin around the village. Housed on the lower level is a collection of balloon-tire bicycles, and once they are road-ready and several business-related aspects are worked out, he hopes to add this unique transportation initiative to the community. "If you are burdened with an estate, or are downsizing, or have just a few items, call Fran Antalek at 607-239-8353, Jim Mead at 607-725-6833 or Luke Kaczynski at 607-239-8009 to discuss," furthered Mead. Estates, commercial liquidations and antiques collections can all be handled. Mead & Sons' next auction is Thursday, July 27, at 5 p.m., in the lower level of the Early Owego Antique Center. For questions or to view auction lots, visit EOAC's website, www.earlyowego.com.Courtesy of the Owego Pennysaver.