The Hunt is On!

  • Visit North Central

For Treasurers!

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. In Templeton, shops like Krafter’s Krossing, Nouveaux Riches Antiques and the new Steeple Antiques & Collectibles — housed in a former church building — can provide you with a full day of delving into antique and vintage wares. Plan to take your time wandering through the 20 rooms of antique and unique items at Country Mischief on Templeton Common. You can even take a break for breakfast or lunch in the Mischievous Chef restaurant before heading back onto the antiques trail!

And don’t let the names fool you! There are also treasures to be found at the Country Trail Farmstand in Hubbardston, and nearby, A Thyme and a Place will dazzle your imagination with vintage items that have been re-purposed into today’s home decor.

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 when you visit “Oh, My Gosh!” Antiques and Collectibles.

For an eclectic shopping trip, swing by the Rietta Ranch flea market on a Sunday morning, where you just might find that treasure you’ve been wanting for years.

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, from Templeton to Shirley and Westminster, have launched “town-wide” yard sales; pick up a map, plot your trip, and “sale” away on your search for treasures!

photo courtesy of Pat Gale