When winter snows abound and outside activities slow down, it becomes a good time to go Adirondack antiquing. Ofttimes, the inventory of the antique centers is at its highest in the off-season months and it becomes a good time to join this "indoor sport" and find that rare gem from the past. Relics of the past bring me joy; it is always a good day when I find or receive a vintage tool, a rare photo or a rustic Adirondack piece from the past. Some relate to my Adirondack boyhood while others connect me with those hardy settlers and ancestors who stuck it out in New York's mountainous country.
"Where did you find that?" is a question I get most often. Sometimes it is at an estate sale or a town-wide garage sale, but, most often, it is in one of the antique or collectable shops that are holding out against modern technology. No, I never go "on line" to do my shopping; I am old and stubborn and prefer the "hands-on" approach to buying.
Antique stores come and go as the economy rises and falls; it is not an easy business. It requires investment and inventory, as well as finding a good location. Some have located in Adirondack country where they can somewhat specialize in local collectables. The latest locations that I have found in my territory begin on the Adirondack Trail, near the Fulton County Visitors Center in Vail Mills.
The School House Treasures has a wide selection and spacious rooms to browse through and their prices are right. On the Route 30A branch of the trail, there are several dealers seeking out choice items for sale to the Adirondack collectors. And, in most cases, they do not charge "big city" prices. In Johnstown, you will find Market Street Antiques. Gloversville's four corners' Terry's Antique Shop has everything from furniture to trinkets and Kathy's Carousel Shoppe is an eclectic place. My kind of place, The Stump City Trading Company is further up Gloversville's Main Street. They specialize in a wide range of vintage tools, outdoor items, old sporting goods, rustic Adirondack pieces and a variety of big and small collectables.
Northville on Route 30 has the Red Barn, the kind of place you have to see when shopping for things of the past. The inventory is ever-changing and the choice is wide. Glassware, woodenware, ephemera, books (including mine), and odds and ends fill the historic barn. The hours are flexible depending upon the weather.
Those "things you can't live without" are scattered throughout the Adirondacks. Local Chambers of Commerce can usually supply the list of antique/collectable dealers. The Savaries, located in Olmstedville at the Board 'N Batten Antiques, are involved in bringing antique shows to other communities, another great source for Adirondack collectables. The Stagecoach, a customer-friendly shop, is located in downtown Pottersville. We sometimes find The Mountain Niche Antiques near Minerva, watch for the signs. A directory of these and other Adirondack dealers was available from P.O. Box 19, Olmstedville, NY 12857, the last I knew.
It should also be noted that some of the best Adirondack finds that I have made have been outside Adirondack country. While travelling, I often stop at wayside antique shops and seek out an unknown piece of Adirondackia. That is how I found a rare photo of Adirondack Murray in South Carolina that was used in the PBS Adirondack documentary. There have been times when the dealer explains that the item had been in his shop for a long time and nobody wanted it, proving, once again, "one man's junk is another man's treasure!"