Florida has many small towns showcasing something special in history and sustaining it’s future. Barberville, Florida is a small stop on the corner of Highway 40, railroad tracks and the historical St. John’s River road Highway 17.
Founded in 1882 by James D. Barber who had all intentions of making Barberville a railroad stop on the Jacksonville-Tampa-Key West Railroad. A small entry fee gives you a living look into the past at Barberville Pioneer Settlement Museum with it’s restored buildings and historically dressed volunteers you will step back in time.
The eclectic and historic stop that draws many shoppers to this small community is the Barberville Roadside Yard Art & Produce Emporium.
Barberville Roadside Yard Art is full of unique specialty items, a variety of statues (sizes ranging in small to gigantic) and fresh produce.
Carrying local raw honey to specialty mermaid outdoor lamps are just a few items to discover in one of the many outdoor buildings and pavilions on this over two acres shopping display.
Seeing so many friends showcasing their purchases made from Barberville Roadside Yard Art led me to take a trip to discover for myself all the wonders of the eccentric emporium.
This extra large shopping showcase houses local farm goods, local wood art, wind chimes, specialty art and imports in one location.
In 1975 it opened as Barberville Enterprises, a local produce stand meeting the needs of travelers using the East/West Hwy. 40 and North/South Hwy. 17 with fresh produce during their commutes.
In 1990 a change in ownership to David Biggers started a the crusade for adding unique local collectible art, outdoor furnishings and yard decorations to his stand. Mr. Biggers soon found himself attending auctions, wholesale shows and estate sales adding even more rarity to his vastly growing enterprise on the corner of Hwy. 40 & Hwy. 17.
This auction style collecting is where a Miami cars salesman, Carlos Pendola, and this professional auction dealer, David Biggers, developed a friendship. In 2010 Carlos Pendola became the new owner.
A story Carlos loves to share about when he first took over the Barberville —-
“David and I were at a wholesale show together, when I saw a deal for 200 Cache watches. David tried to persuade me not to make that kind of purchase for the unique novelty of Barberville. I purchased the watches and may have only sold one. Barberville is known and has been created by it’s specialty items. A lesson I learned the expensive way.”
“David was right. People do not come to Barberville looking for something they can find in a K-Mart.”
Carlos and his wife don’t live far from the Barberville Roadside attraction and he assures me that he really loves to spend his time here seeing new things take shape and form before they find a home. I was very impressed as he explained that no statues are the same in color and have their own special touches from the artists who work the raw art side of the emporium.
“If you would like a greenish blue Mermaid lamp to look like old cast iron, we can do that. If you want this unfinished large elephant to be pink – we do that.”
The large acres of showroom also include a specialty paint section for the consumer with even more eccentric taste then what is showcased.
The wood carvings were spectacular with faces, birds and mermaids appearing in the shape of the wood. The vast windmills and wind chimes are every where.
Bar stools with a touch of humor can be found here along with animal inspired tables, chairs and love seats.
There was so much to see and admire that this could possibly turn into a several hour stop. Carlos or his staff of many locals are there to help you explore, answer questions or help you with your purchases.
Don’t forget to show the local produce stand with fresh juices, homemade peanut brittle, pecan logs, raw honey and one of my favorites, Boiled Peanuts.
This is a true adventure for all travelers who love to take the scenic route instead of the highway. Stop in and say hello to Carlos Pendola and let him help you find that unique Barberville item for your home or yard display.