TOWNSEND -- Carousel horses. An Elvis Presley doll still in its box. Metal post office mail boxes.
These are some of the treasures found at the Hobart Village Mall. For more than 20 years, the shop on Main Street has been a place to buy and sell antiques, collectibles, and recreated furniture.
"It's all a part of history," said owner Dick Fiorentino. "There's so much you can learn."
The 13,000 square-foot space is two stories.
On the bottom floor is the re-creation room full of American-built furniture, including some crafted by the Amish and Mennonites in Pennsylvania.
Another downstairs area houses a variety of antiques that Fiorentino has found from estate sales or people have brought in.
Upstairs are glass cases, shelves, and rooms displaying items for sale by dealers.
Near the top of the stairs, there military medals, uniform hats, and patches in a case. Others contain jewelry, prints, and glassware.
Some are avid antique dealers or sell as a hobby. They come in on their own schedules to maintain or add to their sale items.
Several small rooms on the upstairs floor are also spaces for dealers to rent and display their items. One is full of costumes and another is full of Hot Wheels and Matchbox toy cars.
People that come to the shop are a mix of experienced collectors and shoppers from around the area.
After moving from Maynard to Townsend, Fiorentino and his wife, Janice, started selling items on a few tables out of their barn, which is near the mall.
In 1994, he, his wife, daughter Robin Silva, and son-in-law Tony Silva teamed up to buy the space for Hobart Village.
Dan Silva, Fiorentino's 23-year-old grandson, works at the mall. He recalled growing up in the shop and doing his homework at the counter.
Silva started working there on weekends in the seventh grade. For the past year and a half, he has been learning more about the business and has gained his own knowledge about antiques.
Finding the right customer with interest and willingness to buy an item is important, Silva said.
Being in the antique business for about 40 years has helped Fiorentino develop the ability to discern what items to put up for sale and how to price them.
"I shoot from the hip (with prices)," he said.
If needed, Fiorentino reaches out to specialists to appraise items. He remembers calling up an expert to price a Navy sword from the Civil War era that a man brought in to the shop.
Although the space is full of items to browse and purchase, Fiorentino said the antique business is different now.
The younger generation may be losing interest, he said.
But despite the challenges, Fiorentino said he isn't worried.
The mall has been able to diversify by renting space to dealers to display items and offering storage space.
He also looks forward to selling more reproduction furniture, which has been a way to appeal to younger customers.
"If you've been in the business a while, you work through the ups and downs," Fiorentino said. "It's just the way it is."
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