Find Your Thrill in Mullica Hill, South Jersey Town is an Eden of Antiques

Aug 21st, 2015 | Category: News

Find Your Thrill in Mullica Hill, South Jersey Town is an Eden of Antiques

Feb 27th, 2005 | Category: News | Edit

By PAULA F. KELLY / Special to The News Journal

One shop after another awaits browsers in the southern part of town in Mullica Hill, N.J.

MULLICA HILL, N.J. — Walk into the Old Mill Antique Mall in Mullica Hill, N.J., and most likely you will come to a complete stop, take a deep breath and utter, “whoa.” Mountains of old objects stacked from floor to ceiling cram the space ahead as far as the eye can see. Items such as sports memorabilia, glassware, vintage clothing and oak furniture can be viewed via narrow labyrinths on three floors. A warm feeling settles in as you peruse the merchandise displayed in more nooks and crannies than an English muffin. Whether you are 24 or 54, thoughts of, “my grandmother had one of these,” come to mind.

That sense of nostalgia envelopes this South Jersey town and any visitor who chooses to wander up and down the main avenue, peek inside an antique store or a chat with one of its friendly dealers can come under its spell.

“All the shops are homes that have been restored,” said Judy Salvino who along with husband, Jim, own The Front Porch Antiques. About 55 antique stores with more than 30 in the Old Mill Antique Mall, built in 1886, dot the main thoroughfare – aptly earning it the nickname “Antiques Country.” But the retrospective doesn’t end with the shopping. With an ancestry dating back to the 1700s and an abundance of renovated Victorian houses, the entire town secured a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991 along with a spot on the New Jersey State Register of Historic Places.

Free parking abounds, so leave your car to experience the quaint charm of this mile-long Main Street by walking. Shops, old and new, are intertwined with the restored homes. In the middle of the village sits one of the most beautiful of these houses – the taupe-colored ReMax real estate building trimmed in mauve and teal. Don’t forget to explore the short side streets that also hold more of these gems.

Judy Salvino sets an old-fashioned table at The Front Porch Antiques, which she owns along with her husband, Jim.

The Front Porch Antiques offers fine large pieces of Colonial Revival (from 1880-1920) furniture and unusual accent pieces. Judy Salvino showed off a chestnut pipe cabinet with tiger maple drawers and ornamental hardware for monogramming and a mahogany sewing stand with a satin basket. The top of the stand features a lid that opens in the middle and displays red leather attachments to hold sewing tools.

A few doors down from The Front Porch Antiques, visitors again step back in time at The Barber Shop, owned and refurbished by Frank Giannone. Men can recline in one of two 1927 porcelain and nickel-plated Paidar chairs with black leather seat and armrests and enjoy an old-fashioned straight-razor shave with hot towels, a haircut or facial. The back bar, created from a bottom piece of furniture salvaged from an apothecary, holds two basins and storage space. A phone with crank from 1900 adorns the wall and below sits a 1908 National cash register. Vinyl flooring resembling marble completes the look.

The town was founded by Finnish immigrants the Mullica family. They began to purchase land in 1704. The village has been a coach station and a site of significant agricultural and industrial prosperity until its current notoriety.

Arthur Priemon and his wife, Carole Barnett, make and sell unique pottery at Treen Studio. They’ve been there 15 years.

Everything old is new again in the hands of potters Arthur Priemon and his wife, Carole Barnett, of Treen Studio. For the past 15 years, their best-selling piece has been a $25 French butterwell that keeps butter fresh and soft without refrigeration. Also ask Priemon to show you his “Egyptian” saltshaker and lidless teapot.

Shopping demands energy. Sandwiches, diner fare, pizza and a coffee bar can be found throughout the town. For a special afternoon pick-me-up, head for Mirenda’s Bakery at 19B S. Main St. for a selection of homemade brownies and other goodies.

Finish the day by strolling past those Victorian homes restored to their former grandeur with their contrasting colors of gingerbread. Allow yourself to be transported in time. It’s the perfect way to unwind before returning to the present time.

MULLICA HILL, N.J. “ANTIQUES COUNTRY”

DIRECTIONS: From the Delaware Memorial Bridge, take I-295 north to Exit 11 (U.S. 322). Follow 322 eastbound until you come to the “T” in the road; Harrison House Diner will be on the left. Turn right onto Main Street, Mullica Hill. Takes about 30 minutes from the bridge.

EATING: Mirenda’s Bakery, 19B S. Main St., offers homemade brownies, cookies, tarts and muffins. (856) 478-6800

Hilltop Restaurant, 47 S Main St., offers “country cuisine,” including chicken pot pie. (856) 478-2112

Harrison House Diner, U.S. 45 and 322, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. (856) 478-6077

SHOPPING: Among the 55 antique stores are Old Mill Antique Mall, 1 S. Main St. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. (856) 478-9810; and Front Porch Antiques, 21 S. Main St. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun. (856) 478-6556

Treen Studio Pottery Shop, 43 S. Main St. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Sun. (856) 223-2626

INFORMATION: www.mullicahill.com offers a town map that shows parking, shops and their hours of operation, and eateries.

ROAD TRIP PIT STOP:

Fuel up at Commodore Coffee & Bagels at 2263 U.S. 322, (one mile east of Exit 11 off I-295 and 10 minutes from Mullica Hill) for a day of shopping. Commodore offers fresh-baked bagels, gourmet muffins, coffee, teas, espresso and cappuccino and regular and breakfast sandwiches. The latter are served all day. Open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sat.-Sun. If you come between 7 and 9:30 a.m. weekdays, the line will be out the door.

And remember: New Jersey is the Garden State. In the late spring and summer, produce stands pop up along U.S. 322 with fresh vegetables and fruit.

Original article posted by DelawareOnline.com on 02/27/2005.