Madison County, New York: Antiques Guideby Sue Kulick, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 1/17/2008
When you think about New York, antiques are probably not the first thing that comes to your mind. But let me tell you, there is a wonderful tiny corner of New York State where they have honed antiquing and bargain hunting to an art form.
Madison County in central New York State could well be called the antique capitol of New York. In a tiny town called Bouckville, there is a string of antique shops all along the main road. But there is more to it than that...
Every summer, Madison County puts on a show for the residents and tourists alike. Between the lush green farmland and the gently rolling hills of this beautiful area, thousands of antique dealers gather every summer in a field to show their wares. Yes, it's time for the Madison-Bouckville Antique Show!
The show is held on the third weekend in August and opens on Friday for the early birds. For an increased fee, dealers and serious collectors can get in to the show a day early to poke around and make some deals. The show opens to the public on Saturday morning. For a mere $6 ($7 for a weekend pass), you can gain entry to a veritable super market of antiques!
The dealers bring along a huge variety of things. Some of them bring things that have been sitting too long in their shop. Some dealers bring things that they think will sell. Some dealers bring whatever is "hot" that year. One year it was Depression glass, one year it was snowshoes, and another year it was wagon wheels. This year the trend seemed to be toward old kitchen items!
You enter this antique wonderland knowing that, like Walt Disney World, you are not going to see everything in one trip. Spread out before you are tents, tables, trucks and tarps, resplendent with items to delight the most seasoned antique-er or the bright-eyed novice!
If you're like us, the monetary value plays second fiddle to the decorative value. We own a log home, and we tend to look for things that will enhance the beauty of our home, rather that what will bring us money on the resale market.
If you get hungry, there is a large food tent in the center offering foods that range from salads to sandwiches to burgers to fresh fruit. It is run by the local fire/rescue department, so you know your lunch money is going towards a good cause.
So, let's say you've found the perfect item. But that beautiful rocking chair is a bit much to carry back to your car. Never fear! Look around - there are young men and women everywhere in yellow T-shirts with the word "Porter" on them. These young people will load up your purchase on a trolley, pulled by a tractor, and take it back to your car. But don't forget to throw them a few bucks. These young people work for free and depend on your tips!
If you get tired of the actual show, take a stroll into the town of Bouckville. Every store, every nook and cranny, every square inch of space, is covered by someone selling something. The dealers that don't get inside the antique show set up shop on the fields and side streets of Bouckville. There are treasures to be found everywhere you look.
And don't be afraid to bargain. It's not only accepted, it's expected! Don't want to pay $20 for that old map of the world? Offer $10! And on Sunday, many dealers would rather bargain than pack everything up again and haul it home.
If yard sales are more your style, this is the weekend for them! Every road leading into central Madison County is chock-full of people selling their household goods. We usually stop at a few on our way to and from the show. We have gotten a few good deals along the way, as well as a few classic pieces for our home.
Come and spend the day or the weekend having fun and shopping in this lovely area of New York State!
To find out more information, check out the web site: http://www.bouckvilleantiqueshows.com/html/main.html
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Updated 1/17/2008 - Article #194
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