Where are you when you find yourself, in a striking 19th c. building, with high ceilings, huge gothic arched windows, and a glorious view, right from your seat, of steeples and cupolas, on a clear day in early January? At Steenburgh’s Americana sale, this one in Haverhill, NH, in Alumni Hall. I had never been farther than the Farm-Way store on Rte 25 at Exit 16 off Rte. 91, so it came as a blissful surprise when, with Sue Gault at the wheel, we breezed into one of the most beautiful villages I have ever seen in our state. Stately houses, framing the quintessential “green,” surrounded by fields running off toward the Connecticut River. As Sue reminded me, this was magnificent land for agriculture, and those early settlers came, planted the crops, made good money, and built lovely homes for their families.
Let me digress for a moment on Farm-Way, where you can find the best in sturdy, country clothes and shoes, and everything else you might want or need to live a contented rural life. This is not your generic bargain store, but a huge emporium, filled with quality goods. Buy yourself a Filson garment, and you will have it for life. Choose among every brand of fine, hard-wearing shoes and boots, and you can beat the wet stuff and mud of country life. My mantra is that moving up here meant a fond farewell to a few luxuries (a few?), among them: clean cars and sweet little shoes, good for nothing but glam. But …we really survive just perfectly, and though we admire the shiny vehicles of visitors and their darling little ballerina slippers, we are happy as clams. Farm-Way Inc – Vermont Gear, 286 Waits River Road, Bradford, VT 05033. 800/ 222-9316.
Now, back to Steenburgh’s. Josh and Mary are exhibitors at the August NHADA Show, and they bring the most wonderful collection of stuff, so whimsically and thoughtfully gathered and displayed. They have quickly become “it” dealers, carefully watched and shopped by all who attend; so it comes as no surprise to see the origins of this team. The business started in 1972, and Dad, Archie, and Mom, Martha, are there at the forefront, and the big smile is a family trait You get a hardy handshake, alot of camaraderie during the sale, and (this was wonderful), a goodbye “thank you” as you pass Archie on the way out. “Thanks for coming, Roym” “Good to see you, Joe” and on and on. He knows us all, and makes the crowd part of the event. The day was successful in every way – good buying, lots of catching up after the holidays, and a genuinely helpful and professional auction team. So, watch the ads and take in the next Steenburgh sale, and look for Josh and Mary’s new discoveries at the August show.
I always like to remind you of the NH shows during the winter months. Nan Gurley and Peter Mavris have the once monthly Sunday Portsmouth Shows – March 7 and April 10 from 10-3 – and also Short and Sweet, in Portsmouth as well on Wednesdays 9 AM to noon – March 7 and April 4. These active venues are both at the convenient Frank Jones Center, right near the Portsmouth traffic circle. Trish McElroy is in her 2nd season of the Monthly Concord Shows at the Courtyard Marriott, Grappone Convention Center in Concord, right off I-93 at exit 15W. Concord has been a great addition to our winter calendars, with lots of good dealers, anxious to do business. We owe these intrepid show managers a vote of support and gratitude, for giving dealers excellent locations to set-up and show new finds.
Canterbury will happen again in 2010, on Sunday, September 26, at the Shaker Village grounds in Canterbury, NH. Nan Gurley is the manager, in a partnership with NHADA, and with the Village the benefactor. We plan to have our 2nd annual Shaker dinner in the barn which was a highlight of last year’s event. Remember – only NHADA members may exhibit. Did you remember to join?
Visit NH. It’s such a terrific place.
Kathy Schoemer Acworth, NH