The Maine Events: Not-to-Be-Missed Finds From a Summertime Road Trip
Mrs. Knox’s quarters at Montpelier, with reproduction chinoiserie wallpaper.
Cruising up and down the East Coast in summertime is heaven. After two ferry rides and a drive through five states, my son and I made it to Maine.
Here is what we found.
Montpelier: The reproduction mansion of Revolutionary War hero General Henry Knox. Knox at one point owned more than 1.5 million acres in the area, which included the nearby town of Thomaston. His daughter played piano at the lavish parties they threw. She reports playing at an “intimate” one, for “about 500 people.”The bright yellow staircase at Montpelier in Thomaston.
The grand house is in the Federalist style, with lots of reproduced wallpaper. One such wallpaper is in the ladies’ parlor, which sparkles silver and gold at night with mica glitter. The entryway is oval, which was very avant-garde at the time. It predates the much more famous one at the White House.
I learned a few things about decor history. Wall-to-wall carpet was very rare at that time, though it was featured in the general’s bedroom. Another thing: The brighter your paint, the richer you were. Pigment was expensive. The Knox hallway is a beaming yellow. And his changing room is a vibrant minty turquoise (want!).
Rockland Farmers Market (open Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.): See these gnarly scapes from Dandelion Spring Farm, along with miniature “fairy tale eggplants.” Other highlights from the market include buffalo milk, yogurt, and cheese (edible for even the lactose intolerant).
Antiquing in Rockland: I immediately fell in love with Hall’s Antiques on Main Street. It has linens, quilts, glassware, china, furniture, books, and beautiful toys (like a miniature merry-go-round!) among other treasures.Some of the more theatrical wares at Pasternak Antiques in Rockland.
Pasternak Antiques, at the end of Main Street, also caught my eye with its fantastical large-scale items, which seemed to have come straight off a Wes Anderson set. The shop is open by appointment only, and it has a reality-TV show.
Gamage Antiques is my mom’s favorite. It largely auctions. If Sheraton and Biedermeier are your bag, this is worth a stop.The view from my bohemian bungalow in Spruce Head.
Spruce Head: This rustic peninsula and island in South Thomaston was the perfect downtime sanctuary for our family getaway. Did you see the view?
Also on Spruce Head Island, do not miss the family-run and picturesque McLoons Lobster Shack. It’s delicious and situated in a spot that is about as pretty as one could imagine, looking out over the sea and nearby islands.
Photos: Courtesy of Lauren Goodman