Delphos antique store ‘well-kept secret’

Bruce Maag, owner of coins Currency and Collectibles and Black Swamp Antiques, near the collection of coins he has for sale.

DELPHOS — Tucked on Main Street in Delphos is Black Swamp Antiques and Coins, Currency and Collectibles.

Though it appears to be a just storefront, the historic building at 238 N. Main St. is capacious, and even used to house the Capital Theater.

What’s inside, and the amount of items to look at and buy, is a “very well-kept secret,” said store owner Bruce Maag, even from Delphos natives.

Maag loves history, and it’s evident in the items the store carries. It’s been in existence since he started it 35 years ago, but he added the antique selection in 2010 when the store moved into its current location.

“I love antiques, my mother loved antiques and we had a lot of space to fill,” Maag said. “We just love picking.”

Maag takes an annual pilgrimage to northern Michigan each year to find items to sell in the store and also frequents garage sales and auctions. People also walk in to sell items to the store or do consignment, he said.

Black Swamp Antiques is not like a flea market or a thrift store, the items are high end, well-kept and the store is clean, Maag said.

“It’s a very unique and large store. … We have much better quality items than the typical antique store,” he said. “We’re the largest coin store and antique mall in Northwest Ohio.”

The space measures 18,000 square feet and has three floors of antiques.

“We have items they can’t find anywhere else,” Maag said. “We have a lot of unique, one-of-a-kind items.”

The store also carries a lot of costume jewelry, and the retro pieces are popular right now, said Laurie Arnold, manager of the store.

“We don’t have what you typically see in a jewelry store,” Maag said.

The store does a lot of online sales, and three of its five employees do Internet sales at the company, Maag said.

In addition, the store appraises coins, finds coins for people, appraises estates, sells, buys and trades.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. It’s open on Sunday if Maag is around, he said.

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Pellston Community comes together to launch Memorialfest

Community member in Pellston are planning the first ever MemorialFest, a five day long festival including music, fun and a Memorial Day Celebration starting the Thursday before Memorial Day.

PELLSTON – Community members in Pellston are banding together to launch a new festival over Memorial Day weekend, including live music, beer and wine tasting tents, an antique car show and a Memorial Day Parade over a five-day span.

In all, there are 31 different events planned for the extended weekend.

“We started talking about this back in November, and it just blew up on us,” said Pellston village president Jim Gillett. “I was a little worried that we might bite off more than we could chew, but they decided to go big.”

The inaugural MemorialFest will take place Thursday, May 26, and last through Memorial Day on May 30.

The festival grew from Pellston resident Bill Jewell’s interest to establish an antique car show, according to Bruce Maag, one of the event organizers. A fellow classic car enthusiast, Maag partnered with Jewell to launch a car show in the village in 2014.

“We’ve decided to name the car show after him, he unfortunately only got one in,” Maag said.

After Jewell passed away in 2015, Maag said the interest grew to expand the car show into a larger summer festival.

“As I looked around the area, every small town has a festival except Pellston,” Maag said.

Pellston used to host a festival called Summer Fest in June, but Gillett said it slowly faded over the years.

“One of the reasons that Summer Fest fell off is the same four or five did the same thing every year, and we got burned out. We tried to get more volunteers. But now we seem to have a strong core of volunteers,” Gillett said.

The new MemorialFest will combine elements from the two events, the car show and the previous summer festival, into a larger event for an extended Memorial Day weekend.

Michael Adams, owner of the toy store Jolly Lama, said he hopes events like this will help make Pellston more of a location for people to visit for long-standing festival traditions.

“We’re hoping to raise awareness about the things that are happening in Pellston and around the area. We’re basically pulling out all the stops and using all of our resources,” Adams said.

While the festival lineup is almost finalized, Maag said organizers are always looking for volunteers to help with events over the weekend.

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Tell Me About It: Coin-collecting passion

Interview with Bruce MaagRole: Owner of Coins Currency and Collectibles in Delphos

DELPHOS — Bruce Maag, owner of Coins Currency and Collectibles, was born and raised in Ottoville and began coin collecting when he was young.

Bruce Maag, Owner of Coins Currency and Collectibles, hold a 1864 one dollar Delphos large note.

“An elderly lady on one of my numerous paper routes was into coins and stamps and I collected avidly till about age 14 and then other interests got in the way and I set it aside,” he said.

After graduating from high school he went on to Ohio State and is still a big fan of the Buckeyes.

“We were able to go to Phoenix this year for the Fiesta Bowl and see the Buckeyes beat Notre Dame,” he said.

After college, Maag worked to help disadvantaged youth.

“I was [chief operating officer] of several national foster organizations and had a large involvement with that and in 2010 I sold my company and didn’t want to get too bored so I added antiques and moved the coin store over to its current location.

“I married a girl from Delphos,” Maag said of his first wife who died in 2000. “We had two daughters, Amy and Carrie, together,” he said. He married Teri two years ago.

Bruce Maag Holds an antique bowl from a display.

He enjoys spending time at his cottage in northern Michigan.

“We spend a lot of time there from May to October but I also like to drive a big truck around there and pick stuff up,” he said.

He and his staff work to make this a very different type of antique store.

“We’ve been told it’s more like a museum, it’s not the way antique stores normally are with a lot of old dusty stuff, we have quality stuff that is priced reasonable to sell,” he said. “Everything has a story.”

Bruce Maag holds a 1877 half dollar coin worth $2,800 from his collection.

Coins Currency and Collectibles is located at 238 N. Main St. in Delphos.

The 1,400-square-foot store includes numerous items froms coins and currency to iron skillets and LP’s.

“We have pinball machines, jukeboxes, vintage jewelry, player pianos, a room for Christmas, a religious room, a room just for kitchen items,” Maag said. “We have a lot of good items.”

1. How did you start the store?

Bruce Maag holds a $20 gold St. Gaudens Coin.

After I became an adult and was home visiting around the age of 30 and saw all my coin albums and it piqued my interest again. So I started collecting everything and had a lot of double and triple coins. About four years after I started collecting again an Elida gentleman suggested I go to one-day coin sale events. From there I went to one-, two-, and three-day regional sales and finally four-day nationals.

2. How long has the store been there?

Thirty-two years ago I opened a store. The current one is my fourth location that we moved to in 2010, the others were strictly coins and currency but this is antiques and collectibles too. Collecting was always a passion and a sideline business for me.

3. Do you still collect?

Bruce Maag, owner of Coins Currency and Collectibles, sits at his store work desk

Bruce Maag sits at his store work desk at Coins Currency and Collectibles

It’s hard to collect and deal at the same time because you want to keep everything. I still have a couple things but for the most part all my stuff is for sale. I have thousands and thousands both from the U.S. and worldwide.

4. What unique coins do you have?

A U.S. coin from 1792 is the oldest one we have. People like foreign coins and currency too like Australian and Cuban and coins from the Far East. We have coins from everywhere. Foreign currency is not our specialty but we do have a lot.

5. How many employees are at the store?

We have four employees and we do mostly Internet sales. We are the largest coin store in northwest Ohio and probably the largest coin and antiques combined. We do a great deal of business on the Internet mostly eBay and Craigslist and coin sites that sell just coins. I have a young person does Twitter and Facebook, the social media aspect.

6. What is a rare thing you have had?

A casket we just sold that dates back to the 1800s. I acquired it at an auction, its wicker and it was what they used to carry people out of the house and sometimes show their bodies, but they didn’t bury them in it. It sold to a guy who has a hearse and is going to put it in the back. You just never know what you are looking at to buy for the store you just have to have an eye for things that other people overlook, know what value is and be able to move it.

Janet Ferguson is a freelance writer and regular contributor to The Lima News. Share your story ideas for Tell Me About It at


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The National Institute of Alternative Care Professionals (NIFACP)

In 1987, Bruce Maag leveraged his extensive experience as a licensed mental health professional and youth advocate toward the establishment of the National Institute of Alternative Care Professionals (NIFACP). Functioning on local, statewide, and national levels, NIFACP facilitates the development of seminars and conferences to promote the activities of counseling and human services professionals working in the foster care field. In his capacity as NIFACP’s Executive Director, Bruce Maag collaborated with organizations such as the Foster Family-Based Treatment Association (FFTA), the Ohio Coalition of Foster Care Networks, NOVA University, Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY), and numerous other groups. Additionally, Bruce Maag and the National Institute of Alternative Care Professionals created a national certification program for counselors, administrators, and other individuals involved in the Treatment Foster Care (TFC) field. Prior to founding the National Institute of Alternative Care Professionals, Bruce Maag served as the Regional Director of the Ohio Youth Advocate Program, a non-profit, private company specializing in the treatment and placement of youth and adolescents. The Ohio Youth Advocate Program focused its energy on caring for foster children with unique needs who often experience difficulty integrating into a new home. As the largest foster care program for difficult-to-place youths in the state, the Ohio Youth Advocate Program oversaw direct services such as independent living and short-term, non-secure placement facilities for youths who had been neglected or abused and individuals with delinquency issues and developmental disabilities. Moreover, the Ohio Youth Advocate Program supported child advocacy efforts through involvement with TFC legislation, also participating in relevant litigation processes. Today, Bruce Maag champions the causes of youth services professionals and foster families as a member of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the American Youth Work Center, the American Correctional Association, and the American Personnel and Guidance Association, among other organizations.

Foster Parents Impact on a Child’s Future

Foster parents are everyday citizens with the resources and willingness to support and positively impact a child’s life. They become role models and truly change the course of the child’s future. Anyone over the age of 21 who possesses good physical and mental health, plus an adequate income, is eligible to become a foster parent. A foster parent’s role is to encourage healthy relationships between children and their caregivers, preparing those young individuals in need of an eventual reunion with their families or a permanent home through adoption. Foster parents are able to adopt the children they care for, and many organizations such as SAFY of America have Foster-To-Adopt programs specially designed for foster parents who intend to adopt a child. Children are matched with the strengths, abilities, and desires of potential foster parents, ensuring that adults never become responsible for children whom they are not prepared to nurture. Children in need of foster care come from a variety of backgrounds and represent the full spectrum of ages, ethnicities, and origins. Many children who require help have experienced trauma or abuse, often related to drugs, violence, or other forms of emotional abuse and neglect. They need a loving environment that will be patient with their behavioral and emotional issues, restoring the child’s faith and trust in adults. Foster homes are generally a temporary solution, lasting from a few days to years, often with the hope of finding a family willing to adopt. A monthly stipend helps cover the cost of foster care. In addition, all expenses are reimbursed including clothing and food. Children fostered through programs like SAFY possess medical and dental coverage. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, contact a foster program near you to receive further information. Generally, potential foster parents attend an informal meeting where they complete a foster application. Afterwards, foster parents attend training sessions and interact with program staff to ensure that the child goes to a good home.

Charitable Giving & Community Endeavors

Having been involved in the foster care field for over 30 years, I have a heightened sense of what it means to provide help to others. As such, I have maintained involvement in a broad range of charitable organizations. You can find out more about my charitable interests below. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency (–More than 100 years old, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) is an organization dedicated to keeping children out of the criminal justice system. Since its founding in 1907, NCCD has seen significant growth in programs such as the Center for Girls and Young Women and the Children’s Research Center. American Correctional Association (–Founded in 1870, the American Correctional Association (ACA) plays a major role in setting the standards for the correctional field. Boasting more than 20,000 members, the ACA offers assistance with professional development, certification, networking, and more. The American Youth Work Center (–The American Youth Work Center (AYWC) is a non-governmental group committed to providing assistance to youth service organizations. The AYWC works on a worldwide basis to support community-based youth service agencies.

About Bruce C. Maag

Bruce C. Maag has been blessed in a way that many of us still dream about: he has been able to have a career doing what he truly loves—helping those in need. Maag has spent over 30 years helping children in foster care, contributing his energy and time to working for various organizations dedicated to helping children, many of which were organizations he started himself.

Bruce Maag began working with the Ohio Youth Advocate Program in 1978 as their COO. This was one of the first TFC programs in America. In 1984, he established Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY) and was its CEO for 16 years until 1999. In December of 1999, Mr. Maag chose to resign to be with his wife who was fighting Leukemia. When Mr. Maag’s wife passed away, he realized he needed to move on and continue doing the work to which he had devoted his life. In July of 2000, he formed the International Phoenix Group and Phoenix Homes. IPG has now grown to employ more than 100 staff members and serves over 350 youths.

Mr. Maag has always found it important to help those who are less fortunate than he, and his inspiration for IPG formulated when he realized how many children are unable to be helped because they are considered more difficult than others, which is why International Phoenix Group focuses on the severely emotionally disturbed and under-served youth in North America. Since 2000, Bruce Maag has been working towards building and strengthening the structure of his much needed organization. Today, IPG has offices in three states and serves youth on a daily basis. In 1994, Bruce was honored with the Virginia Colson award from the Ohio Association for Child Caring Agencies for his outstanding services to children, youth, and families in Ohio.