In rural Maine, it’s not unusual to meet a carpenter who is a poet, musician and sculptor too. Or a boat captain who plays the guitar and paints watercolors. Handcrafted creations — whether edible or ornamental — can be found along byways and throughout Hancock County. Here’s a smattering of goods that caught roving Out & About interns Jared Gendron and Will Slater’s eyes.
At Dulse & Rugosa in Gouldsboro, skirting Route 1 near the turnoff for Acadia National Park’s Schoodic District, mother and daughter Claire and Carly Weinberg tell visitors how dulse and other seaweed species are sustainably harvested off Great Gotts Island and incorporated into their skincare line. Off Mount Desert Island, the island also is where they gather wild rosa rugosa and other botanical ingredients for their products. They also raise botanical ingredients on site. Customers can enjoy a free cup of coffee, slice of peach cake and browse. The shop is located at 337 Route 1. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday-Monday. For more info, call 812-0947 and visit dulseanbdrugosa.com.
Duck eggs? Potted plants? Bunnies? In West Gouldsboro, the “Gobbler King” greets visitors to Stephen Jordan and Jacquelyne Cole’s farmstand down their dirt driveway (25 Tower Road) off Route 1. The 60-pound tom turkey waddles alongside visitors as they browse the fresh duck, goose, guinea and chicken eggs from the couple’s various flocks. Don’t worry, the farm’s mascot is friendlier than he looks. Jordan and Cole also sell chicks, turkey poults, guinea fowl and bunnies and a variety of fresh vegetables and potted plants. “I like to share what I call ‘wealth,’” Jordan says.
For seven years now, Manley Lounder has whittled walking sticks and canes and sold them from his pickup truck along Route 3 in Ellsworth. Setting up south of Marden’s Discount Store, the Franklin man calls his enterprise Squeak’s Walking Sticks. His father nicknamed him “Squeak” because of the noise he made as a baby. The retired heavy-equipment mechanic sells his creations made from branches and roots of ash, birch, beach, ash, oak and poplar trees. Every night, he goes out to collect fresh material. His sticks make a perfect companion for folks requiring extra support when walking or hiking. Those made from roots have comfortable palm handles on top. Each one has a paracord wrapped near the top for one’s wrist to rest inside. The sticks and canes fetch $40 apiece. For additional inquiries, call 207-812-6126.
Wild about blueberries
Florence Prouty can’t get enough of them. She stocks blueberry jams, jellies and condiments. Maine’s famed fruit also graces aprons, napkins, potholders, clothes, dish towels, and tablecloths. Not a blueberry fan, there are plenty of other one-of-a-kind household and gift items to see at BEARS n ME Gifts located at 31 Water St. in Blue Hill. For more info, call 461-9400 or visit the shop’s Facebook page.
Since 2005, Walter and Carla Saunders, along with their two sons, have packed their garage with antiques like furniture, jugs, beer signs, light fixtures and all kinds of “stuff” for visitors to peruse. They source much of their inventory from western Maine and annual trips to a huge flea market in Webster, Fla. The couple seek out unique pieces. “The more bizarre, the better,” Walter says. The couple’s oddities include a coral-colored optometry machine from the 1960s and photographs of people in coffins. W.C. Stuff is located at 11 Mountain Road, Blue Hill. For more information, call 664-8443 or visit their Facebook page.
Portal into the past
In Trenton, Colin Barclay and Michelle Merchant named their store Two Old Goats Antiques and Artisans, after the affectionate endearment they call one another: “old goat.” Visitors can expect to find the work of local artists and collectibles and curiosities from vintage whirligigs to duck decoys. Also on offer are heirloom household items and furnishings such as braided rugs and iced-tea pitchers and tall glasses. Much of the memorabilia and art are from Barclay’s favorite aesthetic era — the 1950s. Collectible objects from the more recent past can be found too. For a younger generation, even a floppy disk can be an antique. Two Old Goats is located at 749 Bar Harbor Road. For more info, call 412-0154, go to twooldgoatsantiquities.com or visit the shop’s Facebook page.
Farm to table
From humble beginnings, J&P’s Farm Market has become a mainstay on Route 3 in Trenton. “It started as a pipe dream,” recalls Peter, who grew up in Lamoine and Trenton. He started farming and selling fresh produce and other goods there 30 years ago. Expect to find overflowing tables of fresh strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers and other naturally grown vegetables and fruit. In a couple months, wild blueberries will likely be their most popular item. The couple also sell fragrant potted flowers and prepared food from jams and chicken pot pies to chili and seafood chowders. J&P Farm Market is located at 634 Bar Harbor Road. For more info, call 266-9808 or visit their Facebook page.
A bow to Bali
On Route 3 in Trenton, Mainer Debra Vogler and her Indonesian husband, Ramon Melayu, have annually sourced wood carvings, jewelry, statues and clothes directly for decades from the Indonesian island of Bali. At Acadia World Travelers, many of the Balinese pieces were made by artists and families whom Debra and Ramon know well. “I started out as a backpacker,” Debra recalls of her travels to Bali. Acadia World Travelers is located at 438 Bar Harbor Road. For more info, call 669-0897 or visit acadiaworldtraders.net or their Facebook page.
Russia in Maine
Spanning two generations and four locations — Berlin, Munich, Alexandria, Va., and Blue Hill — Serge Liros’s gallery celebrates the global and the local. Liros Gallery boasts a roomful of Greek and Russian religious icons, the centuries-old Eastern Orthodox paintings usually done on wood of saints, angels and other divine figures. Visitors also can find the work of Maine landscape painter Mountfort Coolidge (1888-1954) and the Bangor-born figurative painter Waldo Peirce (1884-1970). The gallery also specializes in rare maps and botanical prints. On-site framing and restoration services are offered.
Liros Gallery is located at 14 Parker Point Road in Blue Hill. For more information, call 374-5370 or visit lirosgallery.com. LIROS GALLERY IMAGE
Antiques and ice cream beckon
Heading east on Route 1, after crossing the Hancock-Sullivan Bridge, Roadside Antiques (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sweet Treats ice cream shop (noon to 8 p.m.) conveniently stand side by side and swing into view on the right. At Barbara Shanahan’s antique shop, comic books, old portraits, vintage cameras, kitchen utensils and pocketknives are among the items displayed. Next door, Erin Shanahan will tempt you with her cool confections made with Spencer’s Ice Cream in Bradley. The antique store only takes cash. For more info, call 479-2699.
With no money and just a few items, Pam Patten opened Country Keepsakes in Trenton 36 years ago. For multiple generations of families, the Route 3 gift shop (282 Bar Harbor Road) can be counted on to stock the same popular lawn ornaments such as lighthouses and silhouetted animals as well as Pam’s new discoveries. She also carries jams and jellies, table linens and other traditional Maine items made by local craftsmen and women. For more info, call 667-6967, visit lighthousesandlawnornaments.com or the shop’s Facebook page.
In with the old
At Trenton’s Country Store Antiques, Books and Wine, owner Vicki Landman’s favorite place is the store’s third floor housing used books. Over the past 16 years, the former librarian has combed estate sales and other sources for Maine, history and maritime-related books to add to her specialty sections up top in the rambling, former country store standing near the junction of routes 3 and 204. Landman and her vendors cater to wide-ranging tastes and interests from fine china and miniature model cars to quilts and fine wine. For vacationers, the store is a great place to take time out and browse. It is located at 410 Bar Harbor Road. For more info, call 667-5922, email country[email protected] or visit the store’s Facebook page.