It's easy to pass right by, but tucked away off Montauk Highway in Moriches are 18 historic buildings and temporary sheds that make up a village of antiques and collectibles shops, all within easy walking distance of one another.
Each is different, selling antiques, collectibles and unusual pieces.
Just like the items for sale inside, the village itself is "a hidden treasure," says Bob Mohr, who runs the Hodge Podge Emporium shop there. "People have lived here for 40 years and don't even know we are here."
Secondhand items find homes
The village of shops is located on an old farm homestead, with some of the buildings dating back to 1815. Each of the buildings and the newer sheds are rented individually and have their own personality. Each shop is a treasure hunter's delight.
Mohr has been running his antique business there for 13 years, he says. Among the gems found there are mantle clocks, some from the late 1800s, including a Marie Antoinette-style one for $325. There's a large travel trunk from the 1880s priced at $125. A china closet with linen drawer, built in the mid-1900s, is $175. The Hodge Podge building was once used to store corn on the farm, he says.
The buildings themselves are treasures and are part of the old Ross-Penney Homestead. Among them is the main barn and hayloft, built in 1925, which houses three shops: Wild Oats and Bobby Jean's are filled with fun items such as '60s and '70s-style drinking glasses in green and blue tints, and handmade driftwood sailboats. Upstairs in the loft is Buttons and Bows, with secondhand clothing mainly from the 1950-'80s. Among the finds was a lady's pink hat circa 1960 for $24.
Each shop has its own charm
At Out of the Dark Lighting, owner Marie Davis sells repurposed lamps and chandeliers, including a cranberry glass lamp for $60 and four matching sculpture lamps with fabric lace shades for $90 each. The shop also rewires and restores lamps.
"I like to keep the integrity of the original lamp," by not replacing original glass, for instance, says Davis, who is also a nurse.
At Karen's Creations, owners Karen and Cesar Rivera restore wicker furniture and sell painted knickknacks and other secondhand items, including old 78 records. Among the finds is a 1959 Silver Cross British baby pram with a brand new mattress for $500, originally appraised at $1,500, according to the couple.
Karen also sells homemade crafts, made mostly out of washcloths and cloth diapers. "I've always had a creative side," Karen said.
In the front, right on Montauk Highway, is The Cottage, part of the original house. Owner Pat Lovito is known for linens, from $5 hankies to $150 bedspreads. A vintage cobalt blue perfume bottle from France is priced at $24, and "bridal dolls" go for as low as $25. Lovito, who used to run the Museums at Stony Brook gift shop (now the Long Island Museum), says she has regular customers who come looking for her unique items.
A 'manly' place, too
Michelle Krohn owns Auntie Q's, a word play based on an adorable comment her son made when he was a child and visiting antique shops with her. ("We're at Aunti-que's")
Krohn's store -- housed in an old equipment shed built in 1925 -- is for those looking for hard-to-find hardware items -- old hinges, tools, wheels.
There's a hand-sewn American flag with 48 stars for $50 and what she calls a "manly wind chime" made up of a hubcap as the top and old radiator and gas caps for $50. She has some jewelry and household items. "I like things that are odd," says the former schoolteacher. "That no one else has."
WHEN | WHERE Most shops open 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. every day except Tuesday; 327 Montauk Hwy., Moriches
INFO 631-878-4594; Facebook.com/Barntique