Meredith Becoming Another NH Antique Alley?Posted on May 25th, 2012 No comments
When folks think of heirloom and period piece shopping destinations, New Hampshire’s “Antique Alley” on Route 4 in Northwood usually comes to mind, but there are a few other little towns in the Granite State that have a growing antique and art market, including this quaint village on the edge of Lake Winnipesaukee.
Located in the heart of the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, Meredith is near a lot of old farms and family camps, which have transformed into treasure troves for antiques over the years. Meredith has also become a thriving destination town, thanks to its one-of-a-kind hotels, restaurants, and shops, as well as a lively assortment of events throughout the year. This is a winning combination for antique shops and art galleries in town.
Ted McGuigan recently opened Antiques at Meredith Bay, a new shop on Main Street with a view of the lake. “I opened in February and I’ve been doing well,” says Ted. “Business has been very, very good. I’m very pleased with Meredith and how it’s promoted.” Ted credits The Greater Meredith Program and the Meredith Rotary Club for supporting the town with various events during each season. “Not many towns do that, so it’s a major plus.” Ted’s customers are tourists as well as local residents, and he carries items that are sourced locally in the Lakes Region. The shop features a wide range of items, from miniscule collectibles, to marble-top tables, to gold and estate jewelry. Says Ted, “A little bit of everything, something for everybody’s taste, hopefully.”
Ted thinks Meredith is on its way to being an antique destination, with four antique shops within walking distance in little Meredith Village. “And there’s room for a couple more if people dare,” he quips. Main Street is home to many of them, giving the strip the name “Antique Alley” for those who live here. Waukewan Antiques & Used Furniture on Main Street is family owned and has been in Meredith since 1994. They buy and sell antiques, gold, and silver, and also accept consignments. Many of the vintage items at Church Landing have come from Waukewan Antiques. Other antique shops and galleries on Main Street include Faye D Foster Antiques, Once New Vintage Wares & Salvage, and Gallery 51, run by Christine Hodecker-George, a local artist who does a lot of paintings for the Inns & Spa at Mill Falls.
Another shop right in downtown Meredith is Chi-Lin Arts and Antiques of Asia. This unique gallery has been in Meredith for almost 25 years, and showcases Asian fine art, furniture, and tea. In addition to its beautiful Satori tea garden, Chi-Lin has several gallery spaces inside where owner Suzanne Lee displays antique furniture, Japanese teaware, and contemporary art. She also does special exhibits for various artists. “The gallery is a real mix,” says Suzanne. “Part of the shop is really classic vernacular furniture which was used by everyday people, and then the other part of the shop is contemporary art . . . most of the art has an Asian sensibility, and it’s all very contemporary.”
Art lovers have another great spot to visit while in the area. The Old Print Barn, just over the Meredith line on Winona Road in New Hampton, has over 50,000 works of art from all over the world on display, spanning four centuries and including works by such famous artists as Picasso, Whistler, Homer, Bartlett, Currier & Ives, Audubon, Benson, Hirschfeld, and Wallace Nutting. The gallery is one of the largest in New England, and occupies a 40’ x 40’ Civil War-era two story barn that was converted into an art gallery during the 20th Century. The giant hand-hewed timbers of the barn are still visible, giving the gallery an antique New England feel. The Old Print Barn is a must-see in the Lakes Region, and is only a 10-minute drive from The Inns & Spa at Mill Falls.
In Moultonborough, another town on the outskirts of Meredith, is The Glass Knob, a fun little shop that features a combination of new, vintage, and antique items, and shows how to put them all together for unique décor. The shop is home & garden oriented, and their sister store in Meredith, Lavender Blue, is a boutique that specializes in clothing, jewelry, accessories, candles, and baby items, and also has a collection of statuary in the garden. “We’re the antiquy and they’re the boutiquy,” says Maureen at The Glass Knob. Maureen praises the collaboration between shop owners, in particular between Robin of The Glass Knob and Paul Hough of Waukewan Antiques, for keeping business flowing in the Meredith area. “We have a wonderful working relationship with Paul,” she says. “He’s very knowledgeable, and has a flair for the primitive (1700s and 1800s) and unusual items.”
Antique shop owners have that passion in common. When asked about his favorite part of the business, Ted McGuigan says, “The customers are fun, they really are. Just meeting people from all over the world . . . and then the other half of it is the hunt—trying to find the really unique items . . . it’s about finding the fun stuff that’s one-of-a-kind.”
Now is the time for antique and art lovers to bring home that special “one-of-a-kind” item, as many stores are opening this Saturday for the summer season. With the good weather predicted and the 21st Annual Memorial Weekend Craft Fair at the Mill Falls Marketplace, Meredith should be bustling. While you’re in town, stop by the Etcetera Shoppe on Route 25. They’ve been in business since 1972, and offer quality, gently-used clothing, furniture, and household goods at great prices. For other antique and art galleries in the Lakes Region, check out NH Living’s handy online listing, and come on down for a visit!
The Mill Falls Blogging Team
Photos courtesy of Waukewan Antiques & Used FurnitureLocal Events, Meredith, Mill Falls Muses Antiques, Arts, Arts and Crafts, Meredith, Mill Falls Marketplace
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