Hunt for treasure in this maze like market

The Market at Circa 1857 is the perfect place to pick up a Baton Rouge souvenir... if you don't get lost in it's maze-like halls full of oddities first.

How do you even begin to select something to take home in an antique market with 50,000 square-feet of goods? If you’re in Mid City Baton Rouge the answer is to trust the youthful eye of 23-year-old Garret Kemp.

Kemp has worked at the Market at Circa 1857 since college and official took over the place when he was 21. Since then he has molded the antiques store to resemble a labyrinthian market one might find in Morocco.

Garret said that a funky Moroccan market right in the middle of town is the reflective of Baton Rouge’s rich history and diverse cultural influences.

“I’m a firm believer that you can see the history of different cultures in different pieces of furniture and artwork just by the way it looks or the way it’s constructed,” Kemp says.

Even if you’re not as well trained as Garret, you can at least see A LOT of stuff in The Market at Circa 1857. Every square inch of these halls is filled with paintings, books, clocks, doors, hats, lamps, pianos, bearskin rugs, and all sorts of unimaginable oddities.

“In this business I’ve learned you can make a lamp out of just about anything,” Garret says.

If an hour or two of wandering a dense market full of hidden treasure isn’t enough sensory overload for you, you can always head out into the surrounding area of Mid City. This neighborhood is currently experiencing a boom of creativity and new businesses that will easily fill any Southern Weekend.

You can stop by Elsie’s Plate & Pie for a classic Cajun food and sweet pies that rival any Southern kitchen creation. Or head down Government Street to stop by White Star Market for Southern Weekend favorite Gov’t Taco.

Anyway you look at it, from Mid City’s murals to the art in Garret’s galleries to the masterpieces on plates across the neighborhood, there’s something to stimulate everyone’s sense in Mid City.