Is it our fascination with the past, a desire to return to a time we perceive as happier, that drives us to antique shops? Whatever the reason, the popularity of antiquing cannot be denied. Maine alone has 120 listed on the Maine Antique Dealers Association website; and of those, 12 are in Wiscasset.
But before you drive off the peninsula to peruse through the past, stop by Iron Horse Antiques at Boothbay Railway Village Museum, home to 10 antique and vintage dealers. It is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You will find treasures offered by Richard Plunkett of Wizard of Odds & Ends; Eleanor & Steve Alley of Westward Antiques specializing in glass; Pam Reed of The Glass Window – oil lamps and bottles; Black Dog Antiques & Collectibles, with Lana Brandt – antique photos, art, Art Deco; At Road’s End Arts & Finds, with Martha Cowdrie and Mike Tomko – sea glass, tea cup bird feeder totem poles; Fran Scannell with Fanfare – old books and pottery and hardware; Heidi Ellrich of Compass Rose Antiques – linens, tools, nautical charts and jewelry; West Street Finds with Lisa Walby – Victorian furnishings; Tim and Cathy Blair of Midcoast Pickers – Model A or Model T luggage rack, cigarette stand, antique jewelry and costume jewelry, primitives, toys and silver serving dishes; Laura and Tony DeHaas of East Boothbay Trading Co. – train cars and sets; and Craig and Dina Bardsley of Top Neck Designs – old toys, tea sets, rustic items, bed warmer and furniture. Dina is an interior designer.
Iron Horse’s new manager Cathy Blair is no stranger to the antique and collectibles worlds: She and auctioneer husband Tim have been active in the antiques business for 30 years with Midcoast Pickers, first based in Wells.
“We moved to Boothbay before the pandemic and did some serious downsizing,” Blair said. “We had two multi-dealer shops in Wells, Wells Antiques and Collectibles and Bomar Hall, plus a 3,000 square foot house. Then we bought a 1,400 square foot house with two-car garage here so, yeah, we had some stuff! We did shows and markets and still sell online.
“I talked to Lori (Reynolds, head of marketing and events at BRVM who changed the Village’s longtime gift shop into an antique outlet) about this place – and it’s perfect. A great fit for Tim and I. Plus, I’ve got (Lori’s) brain for the marketing!”
Midcoast Pickers brought in Victorian and Modernist items, the old luggage rack, old, cool smoking stand from the 60s, and much more. And Blair specializes in antique jewelry,
She is creating more space because the interest among dealers in the location is growing. And there’s a small section for miscellaneous items people have brought in.
The General Store still offers the classic wooden train whistles, old-time candies, T-shirts, books and such.
Blair said Iron Horse will open earlier than 10 a.m. for Early Bird sales, and specials will be offered during BRVM events including Coffee and Cars on Sunday mornings through Oct. 16.
“This has really come together. It’s so diverse,” Blair said. “The best thing about multi-group shops is the merchandise is always changing – and these dealers have good stuff!”
BRCM and Iron Horse Antiques & General Store are at 586 Wiscasset Road/Route 27 in Boothbay. For more information, visit https://railwayvillage.org or call 207-633-4727.