Penny’s General Store & Antiques
by Sparta Live | August 3, 2018 12:29 pm
Last Updated: August 3, 2018 at 12:39 pm
By Hansel Moore
“My husband and I were pickers, before picking was cool,” explained Penny Roman, proprietor of Penny’s General Store and Antiques.
Her reference was to the term “picker” made famous by the television show American Pickers, on the History Channel. Much like Mike and Frank of the show, the Romans have a passion in their DNA to preserve history and have a special eye for certain items.
“We have been collecting for over 30 years,” said Penny Roman. “Brian has an eye for automotive and music stuff, and I like jewelry.”
This treasure trove is a seasonal destination for shoppers, open May through November. Located at the north entrance of Fall Creek Falls State Park, it has been greeting vacationers and locals for 10 years. The curb appeal is a number of handmade items displayed on the porch to welcome the specialty seeker to open the hatch to experience what’s inside.
Entering the 50s gas station turned store, you seem to travel through time, as the squeak of the screen door begins your journey. The interior is ceiling to floor items of all decades, subjects, and prices. A display of lunch boxes remind you of the time when the Dukes of Hazards and the Flintstones were popular shows. Metal toys, comic books, vinyl records, and dolls are also triggers to memories of a time gone by.
Cowboy hats, smoking pipes, case knifes, and car stuff are just a few other pieces that fill this patchwork of items. There is no discernible rhyme or reason to the collection, and, as such, there is a high probability that a person will find something to connect with and want to take home.
Brian Roman spends the majority of his time in his workshop on the exterior of the store.
“I love working with the wood,” he explains, as he shares the fruits of his labor.
He has the talent of turning a piece of wood into a work of art with specific character. His most entertaining pieces are the two-feet-tall “dancing” marionettes that do a jig, perpetuated by the foot tap of a musician while keeping tempo.
“There are a few local bands that use them during their performances,” said Brian Roman. “The audience loves them.”
Other popular items are the unique signs handcrafted by Brian Roman. He can make any statement that the purchaser desires in a three-dimensional wooden format – Welcome, Camping, Our House, and patriotic are just a few of the topics on display.
If anyone is looking for hidden treasure, get the map (or GPS) and mark the spot of 12277 Park Road, in Pikeville. For more information check out their website www.pennysgenstore.com/