A glimpse into the Past<br>Antique shops in the Verde Valley a treasure trove for bargain hunters

Betty Hart of Strawberries & Cream has an impressive array of vintage lcothing as well as dishes, furniture and other antique items.

Strawberry & Cream Antiques in McGuireville, for example, has an impressive array of vintage clothing, some dating as far back as the Victorian era.

Betty Hart, owner of this antique shop, categorizes her clothing in groups by year eras, from hats to bridal gowns and accessories.

Hart's collection is impressive to say the least. Along with the vintage clothing, her shop sells furniture, books, glassware and children's' antique items. She also puts on fashion shows for women's group parading her unique vintage clothing.

Her mother, who preserved and passed on special heirlooms and antiques to Betty, inspired Hart's interest in antiques and collectibles. Hart spent two years living in England where she found an appreciation for English, French and Belgium furniture.

Betty Hart buys many of her items from estate sales and other antique stores, some items are brought in from customers. She has also developed a wish fist for people who are looking for something in particular.

Her store is a visual delight with her items beautifully arranged and showcased. Strawberry & Cream Antiques is located at 2115 E. Beaver Creek Rd. Exit 293 off 1-17 at McGuireville.

Heading to Cottonwood, I found Home Sweet Home Antique Mall. Established some eight years ago, it is one of the oldest and largest antique stores in the Verde Valley. Visitors are greeted by the charming mother-and-daughter team of Vonna Strong and Candy Gonzales.

Their antique mall has 36 dealers who sell items in the store. You can buy furniture, toys, gifts, glassware and many other wonderful treasures. The store is located at 303 S. Main St. in Cottonwood.

Continuing on toward Old Town is J&J Antiques, which is also a antique mall. There, you can find linens, sterling silverware, pictures, mirrors, furniture and other miscellaneous items.

Owner Joan Cerny recently opened up J & J Antiques II, located at the old Mt. Hope building. The stores are located at 796 N. Main Street Cottonwood and 1123 N. Main Street in Cottonwood.

Also on the list of fine antiques in Cottonwood is Strictly Arizona, which has Arizona movie memorabilia, souvenirs and collectibles at 930 N. Main St. Alota Stuff & Antiques has western memorabilia, antique tools and artifacts, not to mention free popcorn. They are located at 1216 E. Mingus Ave

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Cruising to Cornville, there is 8 Ball Antiques and Collectibles, which sells iron cowboy art along with antiques at 1050 S. Page Springs Rd. Open by chance or call 634-6246.

In Sedona, you can visit the Planetary Family Exchange to trade, barter and consign. You can call 282-5174 for details. At 2550 W. Arizona 89A, is The Traders Gallery, which does consignments and has used specialty and metaphysical books. In the Bashas' shopping center in Sedona, Arizona 89A and Coffee Pot Drive is Claire's Sweet Antiques which has vintage clothing, Civil War relics, china, furniture and rare books.

In Camp Verde is White Hills Trading Post, which has 10 rooms of antique cowboy and American Indian collectibles. White Hills Trading Post is located at 407 S. Main St., in Camp Verde in the historic original stage stop and Army Sutler store.

While in Camp Verde, you can also visit Crook's Trail Antiques, which has old iron, gas and steam engines, primitives, furniture and glassware. Take exit 285 off interstate 17 to 102 W. General Crook Trail.

This is just a sampling of some of the specialty antique stores in the Verde Valley. Each store is unique and merchandise is always changing.

Happy treasure hunting!

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