Something Old, Something New

  • Visit North Central

When your spring and summer wanderings take you along the backroads of Johnny Appleseed Country, you’re sure to be beckoned by the call of New England’s past.

Quaint antique shops, expansive antique co-ops, yard sales and flea markets all put out a siren song to travelers along the highways and byways. And at a time when communities are celebrating 250th anniversaries, it’s not surprising that there are lots of antique and vintage treasures to be found here.

Looking for ideas on where to stop for a bit of treasure-hunting? Try following the “Country Roads” through the northwestern part of the region. The shops, B&Bs and farms of the area collectively celebrate a“Country Roads Christmas” in early December — but they’re open year-round and welcome visitors. Shops like Country Mischief and Nouveaux Riches Antiques in Templeton, and Country Antiques in Phillipston can provide you with a full day of delving into antique and vintage wares.

At the eastern end of Johnny Appleseed Country, Hobart Village Antique Mall in West Townsend is a must-visit spot, with 80 dealers displaying a mind-boggling array of antiques and collectibles. Townsend and West Townsend have long been known as an antique-hunter’s paradise — so plan a leisurely trip through the countryside in search of that special bit of history.

Closer to the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center are Jeffrey’s Antique Co-Op Mall in Lunenburg, a large multi-dealer shop housing everything from furniture to vintage toys and postcards.  At the Cider Mill in Sterling, even the building is antique: It’s a century-old, renovated mill, where you’ll step back in time when you cross the threshold.

And don’t forget the yard sales! To be sure, just about every weekend hosts scores of sales throughout the region — but even yard sales can become special events. In recent years, local communities have launched “town-wide” yard sales; pick up a map, plot your trip, and “sale” away!