4:37 min April 08, 2024

Hawley Antique Exchange | Antiquing in the Poconos

Explore the Hawley Antique Exchange, where there's more than meets the eye, during part one of Antiquing in the Poconos!

The Hawley Antique Exchange spans two floors, with thousands of items from more than 25 dealers.

“Everything must be at least 25 years old, and the inventory is constantly changing. Our dealers sell clothing, coins, old tools, and anything and everything you could imagine. We are known as one of the best antique businesses in the mountain area and have been voted number one for the past ten years,” said Erich Martin, owner.

Owner Erich Martin says although the building is fairly large, it is kept neat and organized for customers.

“Some antique shops, you walk in, and they are cluttered. We try to keep everything neat here, so people can walk around and enjoy what we have,” he added.

The Hawley Antique Exchange also has a hidden gem in its basement - a rare Vaseline glass museum with glassware and other items collected by three generations of Erich’s family. In fact, some items on display are considered museum pieces.

“When people first come down, they say ‘wow!’ because it’s pretty amazing. The wives love the glassware, the guys want to see our pianos and clocks, and the kids love our animatronics. It gets the family together, and there’s something for everyone,” he explained.

The glass dates back more than two centuries and illuminates bright green under black light, making for an impressive sight at the Hawley Antique Exchange. Back then, glassware was colored with small amounts of uranium. Although considered radioactive, experts say typically levels are low and do not pose health concerns. As a precaution, the museum was professionally tested.

“They had no idea back then about radiation, but the glassware is perfectly safe to eat or drink out of. It was made all over the world, as far east as Russia. Europe produced quite a bit, and the United States produced the majority of the Vaseline glass. During the second World War, the government shut down all use of uranium. Then in the 70s, the government shut it down again,” Erich explained.

Erich says his family’s ‘collectors’ bug’ began with his grandfather, a clockmaker who had shops in Manhattan and the Bronx.

“From there my father had to earn his way by rebuilding clocks, and that’s what got him into the business and collecting. It’s just been a family passion. We enjoy bringing this to kids growing up today, so they can get a better understanding of where we are now and where we came from,” he added.

The Hawley Antique Exchange is open seven days a week, while the museum is open Saturdays from 11-4pm, although Erich does recommend calling in advance just in case.

Where will our antiquing adventures take us next? Find out during part two of Antiquing in the Poconos, on the May episode of Pocono Mountains Magazine!