BAYARD, Fla. -- It's located on a stretch of Phillips Highway. A section of US-1 just south of the Interstate. You'd miss it if it weren't for the sign.
It's called the Bayard Antique Village but back in the 1920's a few dozen little cabins were built along with a restaurant and gas station in Bayard to serve the many tourists that traveled up and down what is now US-1. They were called the Beautyrest Cabins.
"They all had a chimney," said Jimmy Moore who owns the Bayard Antique Village. "They all had a wood burning stove in there." Each cottage also had hot and cold running water and a garage that locked. "You could probably fit a Model T Ford in it and that was about it," said Moore.
People could stay at the Beautyrest Cabins for two to three dollars a night. After I-95 opened, traffic on US-1 slowed. In the 60's, the cottages were transformed into antique businesses. With names like Shabby to Chic and Ali Mama's you'll find antiques, brick-a-brac and just old stuff. "So many times a person will come in a pick up a piece of jewelry and say 'Oh my God I remember my Grandma had one just like this.' So to me Bayard is a place for memories," said Ali Mama owner Janet Andes.
There are also a lot of memories in an old building right in the middle of the village. Glassware, vintage records, old trunks and some weird stuff are in "The Barn." "Down there we got a lot of parts where people can build their own baby dolls." said Moore pointing to three boxes full of baby doll arms, legs and heads. "It does get a little spooky in here sometimes."
The Curiosity Shop has been here for 10 years. It specializes in Brier Horses. For some customers this Antique Village is a destination. "Never shopped here until the Briers," said customer Susanne Ostrander. Others just stumble on to the place. "We just got here and I'm going crazy already with this jewelry," said Jeri Stastny. "People like to come to old places. It just takes them back to whatever. We just love it here," says shop owner Chris Pihl.
So the next time you're on US-1 near Bayard just don't drive by, stop in to the Bayard Antique Village and relive a bit of landmark legend history
First Coast News