Step into Camelot Antiques and Uniques in Tunkhannock and you’re likely to be intrigued by items that have a past.
Located at 18 East Tioga Street in Tunkhannock, for instance, one can find a fully functional antique washing machine. Made in 1912 by Syracuse Electric, the washing machine is made up of a large copper tub, utilizing three large metal balls for agitation.
“I put a load of clothing into it and it works better than modern machines,” explained co-owner Jeramie Cannella. “A modern machine merely agitates the clothes. This one pulverizes the clothes and really gets the dirt out.”
The washing machine is but one of the wide variety of vintage treasures from various bygone eras available at Camelot.
“It’s not just antiques,” explained Ross Cameron, who is Cannella’s partner in the business. “We have all kinds of unique items. We try to cater to everyone.”
A number of bubble lights are scattered throughout the store, providing a bit of holiday atmosphere. Old beer cans line one section of the wall. One can also find prints and old records, as well as large stone crocks, once popular items on farms used to process food.
Cannella has been collecting antiques and other items for more than 20 years.
“I like to keep an eye out for odd eccentric things,” Cannella explained.
For Cameron, collecting has been more of a family affair. His grandmother, Billie Ross, was a local antique dealer through the 1990s.
“She had some really neat stuff in her house,” he recalled.
Both men are native to the area, Cannella graduating from Elk Lake High School in 1995, and Cameron in 2007. They have developed a business out of their mutual love of antiques and vintage items.
“We’ve both been collecting over the years, and decided to sell off a number of things,” Cameron explained. “After a while, we decided it would be a great idea to set up a local shop.”
The store held a ‘soft’ opening on Black Friday, and will hold its grand opening on Saturday, Dec. 9.
“Everything will be 10 percent off,” Cannella said. “We’ll also be serving beverages and refreshments.”
Camelot features a wide selection of items from outside the area as well as Wyoming County.
“I was in the army for four years,” Cameron explained. “It was like a free pass to pick up some crazy things.”
In the front of the store, what looks like an ancient exercise bike is actually a grinder used on a farm to sharpen instruments. A popular item is vintage Shiny Bright Christmas ornaments dating back to the 40s and 50s.
“Christmas ornaments are tough to keep nice,” Cameron explained. “People remember an ornament that was kept on their grandmother’s tree or their great-grandmother’s tree.”
Cannella and Cameron also carry what they term a ‘man’s’ selection.
“When most people go into an antique store, they usually think of something for women,” Cameron said. “We also have things that men would be interested in - old beer cans, military items, and toys.”
One item of interest is a large wooden model building - about the size of a doll house - with a ‘John Deere’ sign on the door. A close inspection reveals this is much more than an ordinary doll house.
“We don’t know who made it,” Cannella explained. “But it’s handmade. It took a lot of time to create and it’s close to scale.”
The store also has a Prohibition Era whiskey barrel from Shamokin, as well as vintage costume jewelry.
“We specialize in vintage and unique items, as well as some antiques,” Cameron said.
Store hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m., on Sunday. Camelot will also be open extended hours during Journey to Bethlehem.
“We’ve had a really great response since we opened,” Cannella explained. “We keep moving stuff in and out of the store to keep it fresh.”