Antiques and collectibles capture old time spirit
HUGHESVILLE – The tri-town area in Lycoming County is abound with places to buy antiques and collectibles. Three new businesses have recently opened up in the area to appeal to the discerning buyer who likes to “treasure hunt” for that good buy.
Quality is important according to George McGarvey who owns ‘Just Pass’n Thru Time’ in Hughesville. McGarvey shares space with his wife, Donna, in Donna’s Gifts and Gallery located on North Main Street. For resale only, McGarvey said he likes to look for unusual things that are never seen before to place in his shop. Recently he sold a cast iron barn star that he discovered from the late 1700’s. “Sometimes these things go very quickly,” he added.
Most of the merchandise is from the mid 50’s and older to be considered an antique. Customers like the oldest pieces, usually from the 1800’s. McGarvey said he likes to find Civil War pieces. The “Baby Boomers” are his biggest customers. “They are buying things they remember as a child,” said McGarvey who enjoys picking out everything himself from glassware, furniture, ad signs, bottles and cans.
Also in Hughesville, Randy and Lori Holmes take a different approach with their new shop that just opened last month. The couple likes to flip old furniture to give them a more modern and functional look. For example, Randy took an old headboard and turned it into a bench with a new upholstered seat. When he first saw it, he thought to himself “it needed to be something.” His expertise is reupholstering which he learned from his uncle and father. “It’s fun,” he said. “We enjoy the search for things.”
The majority of the merchandise in ‘Re-COVERY’ Antique and Boutique shop which blends in well on the Main Street property that used to be a pharmacy 50 years ago in Hughesville, is sought out by the couple. “We like to have different things all the time,” said Lori. In the front window is an old ottoman which they reupholstered with a floral fabric, giving it a chic modern appearance for any home. Accessories are also great to find according to Lori. “We have scarves, jewelry, glass bowls. They all make great gifts, and something to give that is a little bit different.”
During the week the couple manage full time jobs and spend weekends in the store while seeking things out to add to their inventory. “We look for different things with a nice balance of items,” said Lori. Randy is a graduate of Muncy High School and the couple lives here in Hughesville. They like to go to auctions on occasion and customers can shop there on Sundays.
“Time Gone Primitives and Antiques” is another new business that recently opened in the region. Owner Paul Crowder said that he has been in the antique business for some time. However, he wanted to relocate from Sullivan County to a more visible location, and chose Montgomery Main Street. He officially opened his business, September 13. “I chose this area because it was a good opportunity to offer something new to the Montgomery community,” said Crowder. “It is a small town being revitalized.”
The “homey atmosphere” of the shop is filled with antiques and collectibles and is divided among twelve vendors who rent space there. There are no consignments, although some of the shops do handle their merchandise that way. Furniture is popular but doesn’t last long according to Crowder. There are also a lot of handcrafted items such as candles and folk art mixed with primitives and antiques. “We like giving a new life to old relics,” Crowder said.
He likes to travel a lot and visits other stores in New Orleans, New England and Virginia so he can bring the items back here for resale. “I also purchase a lot locally,” he added. “We have some very creative and artistic people here.” By trade, Crowder is a surgical technologist, but antiques are his hobby which has now turned into a full time business.
There are three price ranges when bargain hunting for these old treasures as explained by McGarvey. There are wholesale prices, retail and family prices, the latter being the highest because of sentimental value. McGarvey said he will buy from the consumer only if he knows he can resell it at a profit in this market. “Most of the merchandise comes from close proximity,” he said and he knows the pricing because he has been doing this since 1997.