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April 19, 2014
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Hidden treasures in the mountains

The author discovered this wood carved commode chair on display outside Doodles and Such in Hawley, PA.

By Jane E. Castelli

Say the words “The Poconos” or “The Catskills” and your listeners will probably conjure up wonderful images of lush forests, sparkling lakes, exhilarating speedboat rides, fly fishing in mountain streams, challenging golf games or tubing and kayaking on the Delaware. Shopping would probably not be top on the list—but really, there is a certain kind of shopping, a treasure hunt of sorts, that can be one of the top things to do here. Hidden on the main streets in our towns are wonderful antique shops that will challenge anyone’s desire to find a special unique piece to bring home from their vacation.

With that in mind, I set out to explore the art of antiquing in the Upper Delaware area, selecting one town in Pennsylvania (Hawley), and one in New York (Liberty). I had a wonderful time indulging every woman’s dream— shopping to my heart’s content.

Hawley was my first stop, and it had an almost endless supply of antique shops to visit, each with its own special flavor. Most are lined up on Route 6, Main Avenue, as it wanders through town, or are a short, easy ride from there.

My first stop was the Hawley Antique Exchange, on the right on Route 6 as you drive into Hawley from the south. A plain cement façade hides an unimaginable mix of items from the past. A cooperative of over 30 dealers, it has everything you can imagine. This includes vintage crystal; a large collection of unusual “Vaseline Glassware” and pressed glassware; primitive furniture; old tools; early phonograph records marked T. Edison Co.; “costume” clothing from the past, such as vintage World War II woolen U.S. Army uniforms; delicate batiste baby dresses from the early 20th century; and school books from “the olden days” with even an antique school desk and chair to go with them. I loved seeing a mannequin decked out in a splendid satin wedding gown from the 1940s. It brought back tales that my aunts and uncles told of their joyful weddings after the vets returned from World War II. Among the most amazing items were a “really” old, c. 2100 BC, piece of jade crockery from the Qijia culture period in China; and the ship’s wheel from the Battleship USS Massachusetts, which saw service in the Spanish American War. Do not miss this spot. It is worth a special visit.