Tour de Thrift – Maine 2012
As newcomers to Maine (almost eleven months!) we have been enjoying the thrift, junk, flea market scene here in the mid-coast area. I thought it would be fun to start writing reviews about the shops, flea markets and thrift stores we discover. This also gives us a great excuse to get out of the house and learn our way around this big state we now call home. What better way to learn about a new place than to visit as many thrift shops as possible.
The first stage of the tour was Saturday, we got up early and headed south down Route 1 to Wiscasset, ME about 31 miles from our starting point in Union, ME
Bargain Basement Thrift Store
12 Hodge St.
Wiscasset, ME 04578
Hours: Weekdays 12:00 – 5:00pm Saturdays 9:00am – 2:00pm
The Bargain Basement is, as the name indicates, in the basement of St. Philips Episcopal church in Wiscasset, Maine. Most follks who travel route 1 in the summer will know Wiscasset from the famous Red’s Eats, a small lobster shack which is wildly popular and causes major traffic jams on route 1, through this little quaint village.
This thrift store is small and friendly ( the volunteers have candy at the counter for the shoppers), and they have public bathrooms! There are several small rooms loaded with a jumble of things to pick through. During our visit they were having a $2 bag sale – pay $2 for everything you could stuff into a plastic grocery bag – score! The clothing selection is not very expansive, but there are a few racks to peruse. The housewares are also a bit of a mish-mash but I managed to find a few goodies tucked in here and there. There is a lot of sewing, craft and fabric to look through and a small room dedicated just to books. You need to be willing to really sift through piles and heaps of things here. The Bargain Basement does have great prices so it is definitely going on our re-visit list.
Best Finds: Danish stainless steel and teak handled serving plates, Ivory ceramic vase (not a real McCoy, bummer), pencil case
Creature Comforts Humane Society Thrift Shop
143 Townsend Ave.
Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538
Hours: Weekdays and Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm
Heading back up north on route 1 take a right onto route 27 heading south towards Boothbay Harbor, ME – this is a pretty drive , which can be crazy busy like most roads near the water in Maine during the summer but well worth the trip, to visit the next two thrift shops on our tour. Of course we visited in January so no traffic to worry about. This is a small shop tucked on the left side of the road and easy to miss if you arent looking for it. Start looking for the shop after you pass a strip mall on the left and go through a traffic light. Creature Comforts Humane Society thrift shop has a good selection of clothing for both men and women, with some high end brands. The back room has the housewares and other goods.
The prices seem a bit high for a thrift shop but you can find a good deal if you look hard enough, and of course all sales benefit the animals in the shelter. Warning for animal lovers – there is a big display with photos of the animals available for adoption at the cash register!
Best Finds: Small Bovano enamaled plate, cool vintage Canasta Card Shuffler
Saint Andrews Auxiliary Thrift Shop
185 Townsend Ave.
Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538
Hours: Weekdays 10:00am-4:00pm Saturday 10:00am-1:00pm
The Saint Andrews Auxiliary Thrift shop is in a small strip mall on route 27 so its easy to miss – if you are headed south towards Boothbay Harbor the mall is jut past the YMCA complex both of which will be on your left. There is a traffic light just past the mall so if you miss the first drive way you can turn left at the light and enter the parking lot that way. This shop was much larger than the other two, and very well organized. There were many racks and nice displays for the clothing with plenty of space to walk between. Once again the prices were not super cheap but not bad, for the quality. The household goods and other items are nicely displayed and spread out along the walls and had some good bargain prices.
Best Finds: Danish Stainless Steel and Teak handled condiment server, Kodak pocket camera
Miles in Motion Thrift Shop and Boutique
114 Church St.
Damariscotta, ME 04543
Hours: Weekdays 10:00am-4:00pm Saturday 10:00-2:00pm
Further north on route 1 is the historic coastal village of Damariscotta. Once a famous ship building town, Damariscotta overlooks a tidal river of the same name. The pretty main street is lined with some nice little shops, including a nice bookstore and coffee shop and our new favorite restaurant called Best Thai (bestthaimaine.com) The thrift shop is located as you travel north on Main Street, out of downtown. Turn left at the light onto Church Street. Follow for a few miles and the shop is on the left in a large building.
This shop is really large, the first floor has many nice display areas and a very large section of clothing racks. There was so much to see that I didn’t get to even look at the clothing, so can’t really say what the selection or prices were like. The displays are tastefully done and it often feels more like shopping in a well designed antique store than a thrift store. However, the basement is where the bargains can be found. Head downstairs and poke around you may be surprised by what you find. We found a great coffee table for $5.00, we are refinishing it now for ourselves. Hope to have photos to share soon. The staff here is really nice and very helpful. Worth more visits, especially to have lunch at the Thai restaurant in town.
Best Finds: Mid-Century Modern Coffee Table, Vintage playing cards
That completed the first stage of the Tour de Thrift – Maine 2012!
Stage 2 is being mapped out now so come back soon to see where it takes us!