NEW MILFORD — Justin Krul caught the antiquing bug at a young age when his parents allowed him to start a collection of license plates.
“They were small and stackable,” Krul said of his parents’ rationale behind license plates, a staple at flea markets, garage sales and antique shops.
The 29-year-old New Milford resident never lost the bug
Krul recently opened Just In Antiques at the Brickhouse at 586 Danbury Road in the historic John Glover Noble House. The store includes six themed rooms offering treasures such as old medical cabinets, military hats, glassware, sleds, tools, pipes, furniture, cameras and, of course, license plates.
“It’s all good stuff and I take pride in having reasonable prices,” Krul said. “I want my stuff to be accessible. I have items for as little as $1 up to thousands of dollars.”
One of his more unusual pieces is an old dental cabinet. As he was cleaning the cabinet, he opened a drawer and found a surprise.
“It was a human tooth with a gold filling,” he said. “That was proof it was actually used by a dentist.”
He also has an extensive taxidermy collection, a niche he said has a “small, but hard-core base.” His taxidermy room is filled with mounted heads of various members of the deer family and full-body animals such as a kangaroo, albino white-tailed deer, bobcat, fox, and a gerenuk in a standing position. A gerenuk is an antelope found in Africa that has a long neck for reaching food high in trees.
Krul takes particular pride in his taxidermy room and has appeared on the Discovery Science television show, “Oddities,” on which he showed a bear that was formerly part of his collection.
“I enjoy it. I’m an outdoorsman, but not a hunter,” Krul said. “Some people get upset about this collection, but the majority of this stuff was done before I was even born.”
Opening Just In Antiques at the Brickhouse was a two-year process for Krul. He purchased the property — adjacent to Faith Church near the Brookfield line — and knew he wanted to maintain the historic nature of the 3,830-square-foot brick house, but also open a business there. He first needed to update the site plan with the town before he could open an antique shop.
Krul has an interest in local history and is a member of the New Milford Historical Society.
He uses about 2,000 square feet for the business and lives in the remaining space. He relocated Just In Antiques from a 1,000-square-foot location about a mile north on Danbury Road. Its location on the southbound side of the road is already proving to be beneficial, as he sold a lot of merchandise on his opening weekend. He said many people visited the giant flea market Elephant’s Trunk on a recent Sunday and stopped at his place on their way out of New Milford.Read Full Article
“People bought a bunch of stuff this weekend; everything from a taxidermy turkey to fine glass to barware,” Krul said. “People leave the Elephant’s Trunk and stop here on their way back to I-84.”
The John Glover Noble House was built in the 1820s for the descendants of the Noble family, the settlers who founded New Milford. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Kevin Bielmeier, New Milford’s economic development director, visited the open house recently and was impressed with how Krul maintained the historic integrity of the home even while opening a business inside.
“It’s a fine example of what can result when the town and a business work together,” Bielmeier said. “The John Noble House exemplifies our history, and repurposing it as an antique shop just makes sense.”
Just In Antiques may be reached at 203-240-1976.
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