Whether you have a practiced eye or just enjoy the thrill of the hunt, you’ll find these the best places to seek genuine collectibles and can’t-resist treasures.
Wells and Vicinity
Flea market-style shops, antiquarian bookstores, huge barns, and old houses overflowing with “good stuff” line both sides of Route 1 in Wells and nearby towns. Don’t miss R. Jorgensen Antiques, with 11 rooms of fine European and American antiques, or Douglas N. Harding Rare Books for antiquarian volumes and ephemera. Continue up to Kennebunk to Antiques on Nine for more finds.
Brunswick and Bath
Spend a morning shopping in Brunswick. A choice selection fills five rooms at Day’s Antiques. For more variety, explore Cabot Mill Antiques, where more than 140 dealers show and sell their wares in the renovated Fort Andross mill complex. Then continue to Bath’s Front Street, with plentiful antiques shops, some with good collections of antiquarian books. If time permits, the Maine Maritime Museum is a must for viewing nautical doodads.
Woolwich and Wiscasset
Get an early start for the best pickings at Montsweag Flea Market. Afterward, continue north on Route 1, stopping at Avalon Antiques Market, a large multidealer shop along the way. Spend the afternoon in downtown Wiscasset, prowling though two dozen antiques shops. If time permits, visit two treasure houses in Wiscasset, Castle Tucker and the Nickels-Sortwell House, and the Musical Wonder House, brimming with music boxes.
Along Route 130, numerous barns have been converted into shops. Return to Route 1 and continue north. Don’t miss Nobleboro Antique Exchange, a multidealer antiques mall that’s much larger than it first appears, or Maine Antique Toy and Art Museum in Waldoboro, which also has a shop.
Hard to believe any town rivals Wiscasset or Wells for the title Antiques Capital, but Searsport does. Sea captains’ homes and big barns now house shops such as Pumpkin Patch, which emphasizes Maine antiques, and the Searsport Antique Mall, with more than 70 dealers. You’ll also find a few roadside flea markets. Learn more about how all these treasures arrived here by visiting the Penobscot Marine Museum.
Stop in Liberty to visit the three floors of antiques at Liberty Tool Company, with most of the wares being tools.
Excerpted from the Fifth Edition of Moon Coastal Maine.