Not too long ago, I found myself lost in time in one of our local antique stores. There in front of me stood a cream and brown metal range and oven kitchenette, every detail thoughtfully in place from a little sink to two burgers, oven, and shelves with storage. Once I got past the shock and realization that, yes, I am old enough to see some of my childhood toys in an antique store, acceptance set in. Suddenly, I was six again, making muffins, pies, and cookies in my own playroom, serving my tasty morsels to my imaginary company, and having the best time!
In a second room, I stumbled on a well-used metal dump truck. There’s no doubt it had easily made as many trips around the sun as I had with its medley of old yellow paint and rust patches and just enough dents to prove it was indeed a hard-working dump truck. Once again, I was transported to my childhood, only this time, I was playing in my grandmother’s garden with my cousin. We were hard at work building roads, bridges, and jumps for our matchbox cars.
Around the corner sat two enormous suitcases with built-in doors, a mirror, and space to hang clothes, and I couldn’t help but marvel at times past when the fashion of the day was men wearing suits, ties, and hats every day of the week and women wore dresses, fancy shoes and ornate hats of their own. It’s not that those times are better or worse than these days, it’s just knowing that each item in an antique store is full of stories of times past, and somehow it’s important just to remember because it is a part of our history for better or worse.
If you are an antique lover, we’ve got some great places to explore. Here are three must-visit antique stores in Lake County.
- Whether you are coming or going from Lake County, be sure to stop by Middletown Antiques off Highway 29. You’ll find not only a wide variety of kitchen wear, and quilts but also fully restored furniture and room after room of everything in between. (probably the largest antique store of the three mentioned. Antiques outside, on the porch, records, cast iron pans, teacups)
- If you happen to be in Kelseyville, you won’t want to pass up the chance to visit Two Sisters in the courtyard on Main Street. You might find some very functional kitchen tools and ornate treasures, the kinds of things grandma said “were to be seen and not touched.”
- And for those of you on the north end of the county, Upper Lake is home to Vintage Antiques and the Country Barn right next door, where between the two stores, you’ll find a variety of furniture, art, and fashions of yesteryear.
If you plan it right, you can make it a weekend! As for me, I may not have ended my day of antiquing with too many treasures, but that probably has to do with the fact that I have no place to put these treasures. So, for now, I will appreciate even more my grandmother’s punch bowl set placed on my dining table and think fondly of meals shared, memories made, and so many things to be grateful for!