By Karen McBride
Published in LOLANews, March, 2012
As you travel south on Highway 41 in Lutz, a brightly colored gold building may catch your eye. Deb’s Whistle Stop Depot opened in June of 2010 when Debbie and David Sherman found themselves with two complete homes to empty. Their mothers went to live in retirement homes. As luck would have it, their friend had a building where they could display the items to sell. The goods quickly sold and they found that they wanted to keep it going as an antique store. Many years ago, Debbie’s mother had a store in Crystal River and Debbie would help her after school. “It’s so great to think that my mother’s love for antiques will carry on through me and this store” says Sherman.
It is not your typical antique store. Deborah Sherman wanted to make you feel at home by adding rocking chairs on the front porch and decorating each room as if it were in a home. Sofas are arranged with coffee tables, end tables, and lamps, so that you can see how the unique pieces will look in your own home. There is so much to choose from whether you are looking for paintings, vases, or tea cups and saucers.
Can you imagine falling asleep on an 1890 brass bed that you purchased for $550 or a black iron bed frame for $350? Or brushing your hair in front of an antique white dresser priced at $375? For $750, you could pen the great American novel on a Bradford Roll Top desk.
For those of us just starting our antique collections, there are many other items to choose from, such as antique mirrors ranging in price from $60-75. Crystal, Cut Glass and Blown Glass for $10. Carnival Glass, Fenton, Milk Glass and Depression Glass for $10. Depression glass was considered “give away pieces” during the Great Depression. Glass came in an assortment of colors including pink, pale blue, amber and green. It was manufactured in the Midwest for a low cost and companies would give away the free plates as an incentive to purchase food, such as oatmeal, laundry detergent, or even when going to the movie theatre. It was an inexpensive way for women to brighten up their home.
The store is open Sunday, from 12:00 – 4 pm, Tuesday through Saturday 10:30 am – 5 pm, and closed on Mondays. For more information, call 813-478-1905 or visit the website at www.debswhistlestop.com
Further north on 41, you will find Famous Treasures at 4312 Land O Lakes Boulevard. The store has a yard sale feel to it with tables lined with goods on the front porch. You may also find $5 golf clubs, old books, and Coca Cola bottles. Coin collectors will enjoy inspecting the variety of coins. One of the more unique items is the $4500 game slot machine. The 1 cent cost to play the game shows you it is definitely an antique.
Continue northward to Dade City, where you will find an abundance of antique stores with a variety of collectibles. In American Eagle Antiques, which is located at 14302 7th Street, you may find a Butter churn for $95, a Keystone Regal K109 – 8 mm projector and case for $125.00, Star Trek collectibles, or a 1920s poker chips and cards for $150. For more information, call 352-521-3361.
Along the same road, you will find Ivy Cottage – Antiques & Wine Merchant, at 14110 7th Street. Each room in the store held a different surprise. Whether you are looking for tiny dollhouse furniture, or a tricycle from Sweden, you will find it at Ivy Cottage. Call 352-523-0019.
If you are looking for antique clocks, be sure to visit Wonders Antiques. You may find a 1910 Oak kitchen clock for $175 or a $195 Sessions Mantle Clock, both in working order.
Across the street is Antiques on the Main Street, located at 14122 7th Street. Peggy Capps’ love for antiques began as a hobby that led to a part time job in an antique store. The thrill of finding that unique item led her to open her own antique shop 14 years ago. She fills her store with items people bring to her and from estate sales. The antiques are neatly displayed atop antique wooden cupboards. “People tell me my place looks like stores in New England, with all the wood and the way I have it set up. That’s one of my favorite things to do, is to setup the displays”, says Capps. In fact, her window displays have one awards, such as Best Theme in 2000 and Most Original in 1999. “I like it because it reminds me of simpler times.” In May she is planning Patriotic Days, where the store will be decorated in red, white and blue. You can reach Antiques on the Main by calling 352-523-0999.
Dade City is having an antique fair March 31 – April 1. Be sure to visit this quaint town and see all that it has to offer. FABA will hold its fair at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg on March 9-11. For more information about fairs in our area, pick up a copy of The Florida Antique and Collectible Peddler or visit the website at www.acpeddler.com .
Tampa has several antique stores as well. Two are located on Howard Avenue. Other Side Antiques, a furniture store, is at 308 South Howard Avenue. Call 813-254-8799 or visit www.othersideantiques.com.
You may find a Cherry wood desk for $1199 or brightly colored stained glass for $99.
Baker & Company, located at 2502 North Howard Avenue, is a replica of an old fashioned ice cream store. It is open 12 -4 on Sundays and 10-4 Wednesday through Saturday. Call 813-250-1565 or visit www.bakergeneralstore.com. Antique gowns, popcorn makers and antique musical instruments are throughout the store.
Lisa Phillips has been collecting antiques for over 20 years. She has always loved table settings. Even as a child, she would see a cake plate at her grandmother’s house and would know it was something special.
In her early twenties she started looking more closely at her grandmother’s tablecloths, and appreciating the intricate detail of the embroidered items. Phillips’ mother was the 14th child and being part of such a large family, Phillips grew up with older relatives, and was exposed to a variety of antiques. Some of the linen she has found over the years was not very fancy, but people used it to make their homes “more beautiful in a simple life, but harder times.”
She started collecting kitchenware, at yard sales and antique shows. When older relatives and other people found out she liked antiques, they started giving her things. “Old items have a story to tell,” says Phillips, “they are a connection to the past that you want to continue on.”
When her grandmother gave her an antique compact, she wanted to collect more, along with beaded hand bags, and brooches. Soon she began taking older items and making them current. Vintage jewelry from the 40s could be worn to work, as well as scarves or suites from that era.
She enjoys taking something old and repurposing it, such as taking an old butter dish with a lid and putting jewelry in it. Phillips feels like a caretaker of the past. Her hope is to preserve what she has collected and to pass it on to the next generation to enjoy.
Phillips says, “Local stores are good place to get your feet wet. Store owners want to share the love of antiques with other people. And then you graduate to antique shows where there are tables and tables of antiques.”
Whether you are looking to add to your collection, finding a unique gift for someone special, or just want to spend the day connecting with the past, antique stores are the place to be.