By Maria Tettamanti
The lowdown: Bronze bells, bollards, binnacles, tackles, copper buoys, cleats, glass floats, diving helmets, canoes, lobster traps, portholes, telegraphs — when it comes to nautical paraphernalia, Stone Age Antiques offers a treasure trove of booty.
The ‘hood: Co-owner Ryan Stone says, “In the ‘60s, my grandfather, Milton, and father, Gary, were in the landscape business together and would scurry around finding anchors, cannons, chains — anything that looked nautical. After accumulating plenty of stuff, they decided to start selling these things to others.” In ’64, the twosome bought some property on the Miami River’s South River Drive and opened Stone Age Antiques. After 45 years in biz, it’s the go-to joint for all-things aquatic.
The vibe: “The store is very laidback. Come as you and dogs are welcome,” Stone says. The 10,000 square-foot warehouse is chock-a-block with iron pots and pans, navigational lights, Nova Scotia wood floats, oak barrels, pictures, signs, rope, steering stands, ship models, sweep oars, not to mention old suit cases and carriages. Crowded, rustic and unorganized, the store resembles a shipwreck of sorts.
Highlights: So who exactly shops here? Anyone on an excursion for oceanic objects. Stone says, “We rent out tons of things to major motions pictures, TV shows, local playhouses, print ads, magazines, themed parties, store displays, restaurants — we’re a one-stop shop for set designers, interior decorators, artists, creative minds and the general public.”
The owner says: “We are one of the most interesting and fascinating places to shop in the country!” Stone says.
Customers say: "For me, Stone Age is a home — a visit to when life was simpler and people less cynical," customer Marc Andries Smit says.
Stone Age Antiques, 3236 N.W. South River Drive, Miami; (305) 633-5114.
Stone Age Antiques.