If you're heading into the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin this fall for apple picking or leaf-color gawking, don't forget to bring home some vintage treasures. The area has plenty of antique shops to choose from, but two of our favorites make creative use of historic spaces.
Auditorium Antiques in Richland Center is located downtown in the beautiful Municipal Auditorium, built in 1912. Unlike many antique malls that take over decommissioned schools and factories entirely, Auditorium Antiques coexists with the working auditorium, with sales supporting the ongoing renovation of the theater. The Richland County Performing Arts Council is the nonprofit that oversees the leasing and the renovation of the space. There are plenty of finds tucked into the basement, the mezzanine and upstairs rooms. While you're there, peek into the main stage area. Recent finds: many vintage box cameras under $5 each and an outrageous 1950s deco lamp. 182 North Central Ave., Richland Center, 53581; 608-649-3456 (closed Wednesdays).
The Treasure Mill in tiny LaValle, population 318, is located in a historic grist mill right on the banks of the Baraboo River. The neatly restored mill is now an antique mall, with furniture, collectibles and contemporary Amish-made goods. Tours of the works are available, with advance notice. The shop has recovered from the June floods of '08. Recent finds: a 1940s sewing machine, chunky Whitman Classic vintage children's books and handmade candles. 211 W. Main St., La Valle, 53941; 608-985-7300.