Updated: Oct 13, 2019
On the corner of 25th Street and Postoffice is an old, pink building that houses one of the largest collections of antiques, furniture, art, light fixtures, architectural items, doors, windows, columns, hardware and other vintage memorabilia on the island. The store has occupied this location since 2004, when owners Scott and Holly Hanson moved from their former location on Mechanic Street. The building was erected in 1913 and has its own history, including housing a brothel in the 1930s and 1940s. The Hansons have been in business for 15 years. Scott likes to talk to everyone who comes to the store and is very knowledgeable, about his products and antiques in general. If a customer wants something he doesn’t have, he says he will find it.
The workshop adjacent to the store was once an old theater. It is in this workshop that he creates one-of-a-kind furniture, all made of old wood from Galveston homes and businesses that are being torn down or rehabilitated. Out of this reclaimed wood comes chairs, tables, hutches or any piece of furniture that a customer requires. Each piece is an original; unique in wood, design and colors that are commissioned by the customer whether for private homes or commercial locations.
Bacon Farm Antiques and Oddities is located next to the Sunflower Café and Bakery at 1325 Postoffice. One of the newest shops in Galveston, Bacon Farm has been growing in leaps and bounds. It is run by Lisa and Harry Blair, the owners of Bacon Farm and of the Sunflower Cafe, and manned by various vendors at the shop. This small collective of six dealers moves merchandise very quickly!
Different items come in everyday; a large variety of mid-century modern pieces, true antiques, greeting cards, kitchen chotchkies and all sorts of collectibles. So each time you visit the store is a new experience. Bacon Farm is a unique shop and is definitely worth a visit. The shop is open seven days a week and the hours vary. The phone number is 409-766-9979.
Just over ten years ago, Mike Ragsdale and Gary Jones moved into their current location on Ships Mechanic Row and they’ve been making history ever since. Voted “Best Antique Store” by the readers of The Galveston Daily News three times, Big House Antiques has “a little something for everybody,” Ragsdale explains. “You can spend a couple dollars or a couple grand here.”
Without a doubt, you can certainly spend a couple hours there, too! Big House Antiques features a stunning collection of large antique furniture including four-poster beds, china cabinets, bureaus and more. They also stock an impressive collection of antique glassware, jewelry and books. Big House Antiques also features modern books dedicated to the history of Galveston Island. “The problem is, we like it all!” says Ragsdale. At the time of printing, Big House Antiques is in possession of a beautiful Tiffany’s lamp, a real treasure! Also unique to this store is Jones’ other hobby: raising handfed birds. Big House Antiques is a Galveston favorite worth checking out. Big House Antiques is located at 2212 Ships Mechanic Row. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The shop is closed Wednesdays. For more information, call 409-762-0559.
Barbara Boyd is the new owner/operator of Island Relics, located at 911 22nd St. She features 20 vendors who sell art, antiques, collectibles, shabby chic and more. One of the newest products offered at Island Relics is called Wear the Beach. This adorable anklet can be filled with sand to bring part of the beach home with you. Silver cuffs and charms accent the anklet, giving it a beautiful and unique look.
Barbara’s latest project is a weekend flea market. This will be located in the garage area adjacent to the shop. There will be six spaces for rent every Fri.-Sun. Spaces cost $25 a day and each space has a separate door that can be pulled and locked for use on multiple days. The garage is wired for electricity and tables and chairs will be provided on a firs-come, first-served basis. Call Barbara at 512-925-0290 and come by the store, seven days a week between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Island Relics will be a stop on the Art Walk on August 27, featuring three artists who also rent space in the store.
Looking for an authentic ship wheel or a vintage surfboard from right out of the 1960s? Let’s sail back in time with Nautical Antiques – One of Galveston Island’s most unique and appropriate antique shops. Michael and Adrienne Culpepper opened their nautical dream shop back in year 2000, in our much-adored historic downtown Galveston. Prior to opening, Culpepper worked closely with his father who operated a similar business in South Florida. He then set off with this dream and his Jeep. The journey lead him to our gulf coast, where many nautical enthusiasts and antique shoppers are in search of the perfect pastime.
The Culpeppers travel overseas every other year to visit ship breaking yards in other countries. Their most recent trip took them through beautiful lands such as China, India, Indonesia and Singapore. They thoughtfully gather special nautical items and trinkets such as lanterns, ship doors, flags, life rings and glass net floats with their customers’ décor needs in mind. “We are also in the wholesale business to supply other antique shops from around the country,” says Culpepper. “We even sell to the movie business.” Mrs. Culpepper and Holly Hanson, co-owner of Antique Warehouse, work together to help promote the Galveston Antique Dealer’s Association. Antique shops associated with GADA work collaboratively to help customers look for particular antique items in their network. If you haven’t visited this wonderful display of nautical pastimes, stop in Nautical Antiques, located at 2202 Ships Mechanic Row. Call 409-539-5469 or journey to www.PiecesOfShip.com and www.TikiBarn.com to find out more information. You can also visit the GADA website at www.AntiqueGalveston.com.
Past Perfect on Postoffice, one of the newest shops on the island, is an eclectic wonderland bursting with one-of-a-kind antiques, furniture, decorative home accessories, stained glass, jewelry and much more! The featured artist for the month of August is Ron Venable, a retired art teacher from the mainland, who paints salvaged doors with colorful island scenes that evoke both the past and present. His unique work is displayed in a rustic wood hutch brought to new life by Linda Vaughan, one of the shop’s dealers who specializes in painted furniture.
Drop by this friendly, happy shop and visit the owners, Karen Brandt and Donna Siedow, who are also veterans of running some of the best estate sales on the island! Past Perfect is located at 2001 Postoffice St. #1 and is open Thursday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Past Perfect is hosting an artist’s reception on Saturday, August 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. showing new works by Ron Venable and several other Galveston artists and everyone is invited to attend this special event.
First, a small history lesson for you: In 1886 the Scanlons built two buildings; one of them the Star. Renowned architect, Nicholas Clayton, was hired to design the building with his elaborate and decorative ideas. In 1906 a local druggist, by the name of Charles J. Michaelis, bought the building and hired a skilled contractor to convert the building exterior to brick. J. W. Zempter completed this $15,000 renovation successfully without compromising Clayton’s original design. A horseshoe-shaped soda-fountain counter was added to the pharmacy in 1917. From the 20s on, two men–George Clampitt and Grady Dickinson–maintained the integrity of Star Drug Store. In 1982, these men altered history when the Star became the first desegregated lunch counter in Galveston. A severe fire in 1998 closed the place; that is, until the Tilts family purchased the building and began restorations to the genuinely missed Star Drug Store. In 2008, Hurricane Ike dumped about six and a half feet of water inside its historic walls. With enough help from family and friends, Star was reopened three months later to once again serve its beloved patrons.
From this you can see that the Star Drug Store is an antique itself. I found this information, along with a few words from manager Celia Strain, to be very captivating. Strain is former owner of Leslie Gallery, but has been happily employed by Star for over a year now. “I love how the employees are like a family here,” she said. “Customers often comment on how there seems to be a seamless relationship between our employees.” Star Drug Store has developed into a favorite social outlet for its many new and returning patrons. You can always count on seeing a friend there, whether browsing through some of Nathan Sweetens Peanut Butter Warehouse antiques and Galveston memorabilia or savoring a classic diner style meal with a delicious milkshake. Strain says, “Star feeds the soul as well as the body.” Natalie Monsurd and her husband are both the proud owners of Star Drug Store. The Tilts – previously mentioned as the building owners – are Mrs. Monsurd’s parents. The Monsurds feel lucky to have secret sources in the area that provide excellent think pieces to their antique collection. You can also catch one of Mrs. Monsurd’s beautiful Cantonese performances most weekends at Star. The Drug Store is located at 510 23rd Street. Visit www.galvestonstardrug.com or call 409-766-7719 for more information.
That is exactly what a few local island children have termed this nostalgic, one-of-a-kind antique store of the Hendley Row building. From ‘Texas and New York Packet Line’ in 1845 to ‘Hendley Market’ as it is today, the William Hendley & Co. had started a namesake that has lived on for nearly two centuries. This historic landmark building still stands strong in the heart of Galveston Island’s Historic District. Hendley Market manager Cheryl Jenkins and eager employees Tilisha Dampier, Katie Embesi and Alexis Mogul were all very helpful in my quest for information.
This family-owned business sprouted its roots in 1979. Hendley Market seems synonymous to a museum-worthy piece of unintentional folk art. From each tabletop, decorated shelf, basket and captivating wall, spills eccentric oddities from around the world. You will discover hand-made Nativities from Argentina, jewelry and textiles from Thailand, popular Dia de los Muertos commodities from Mexico, Turkish trinkets, and French glass eyes dated from the 1860s. “Most of our antiques are Victorian based,” said Jenkines. People “ooohed” and “aaaahed” as they drifted by the Victorian silver spoons, antique jewelry and delicate, hand-beaded coin purses. She also showed me interesting art works by local artist Robert Dampier and delightful French soaps. I learned of authentic Italian paper, popular recycled-glass bracelets and my favorite telephone-wire rings from Guatemala. Then, as if not already being impressed, Jenkines pulls out an actual ‘long-neck’ from Long Neck Village in Thailand, easily weighing 25 pounds! You can also find old Galveston memorabilia from the historic Hotel Galvez and the “Bring It Back” signature item created to boost sales after Hurricane Ike – the Hendley Market Cider Beetle. The Cider Beetle is a thoughtful hand-made package, containing all-natural ingredients, like half of a dried orange packed with mulling spices. Hendley Market nickname, “The Friendly Market,” stems from the fact that they carry a child’s favorite thoughts on two giant round tables containing fun and insightful children’s toys at dime-store prices. “It’s fulfilling to see a kid filled with excitement, leaving the store with a bag full of goodies for only a few bucks,” said Jenkines. “We also carry a variety of fun and uniquely titled books for all ages.” Pay a visit to Hendley Market, one of Galveston Island’s most fitting antique shops, located at 2010 Strand in the downtown historic district. Young, old, male, female, whatever you may be, you are sure to get a good feeling at Hendley Market. For more information visit www.hendleymarket.com or check out Facebook at www.facebook.com/hendleymarket. When you do stop in the market, tell Ruka hello from The Islander!
The Store opened last fall and offers an alternative take on antique shops. In addition to selling the traditional fine dishes, jewelry and furniture you’d expect to find, The Store’s owners — Cynthia Corcoran, Mary Norseworthy and Mary Sherwood — each showcase their unique talents in working with vintage materials.
Norseworthy, for example, is all about ‘going green’ and loves to make pieces she calls “shabby chic.” By recycling old wood and salvaging discarded furniture, Norseworthy is helping the environment while creating fantastic pieces that will stand the test of time. Corcoran and Sherwood share Norseworthy’s perspective. You won’t find particleboard or fake wood paneling anywhere around their shop. The Store also stocks local artwork, a large vintage linen collection and plans to feature more mid-century designs. The Store is located at 411 25th Street and is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and by appointment; 409-392-5524. For more information, check out www.thestoregalveston.com.