For some, the number 13 is unlucky. But that certainly is not the case for the Adirondack Mountains Antiques Show that celebrated its 13th anniversary on September 18 in the Town of Indian Lake. A very light shower fell just as the preview began on the 17th at 2 pm, but it did nothing to discourage the 150-plus who attended this four-hour opening. There were some umbrellas in sight, a few bright yellow slickers, but for the most part the preview-goers just forged ahead to check out the inventory of each of the 83 dealers taking part in the show.
One lady parked near the entrance to the show commented, “There are very few people leaving the show without some sort of a package in hand,” while several of the exhibitors said they were off to a real good start and were hoping for more when the show officially opened at 10 am the next day.
More good luck came the show’s way on Saturday when bright, sunny skies shown over Indian Lake. “We are so fortunate to have this great weather when forecasts did not look so good,” Jerry Oliver of Oliver and Gannon Associates, manager of the show, said. The combination of a nice day and a popular show pulled a crowd of just over 3,000, with a large opening gates and a steady stream of people until closing.
“We had some people arriving during the last half-hour of the show who still wanted to go in despite the limited time for shopping,” Michael Gannon said.
One does not have to be a lover of the Adirondack rustic look to enjoy this show. Dealers come with all manner of things, including glass, books, quilts, toys, some jewelry, redware and stoneware, and even some tramp art pieces. But at the heart of the show, it is the Adirondack style that draws the crowd.
Furniture runs the gamut, from the traditional Adirondack lawn chair to Old Hickory, and from custom pieces to twig-constructed objects by unknown makers. Carved bears and other forest animals are in all sizes, canoe paddles range from the usable to the souvenir painted variety, and fishing tackle is everywhere. Many of the dealers have each lure, fly or plug in the original box, while some fishing equipment is offered by the box-lot.
This show can be a real hay-day for sign collectors. Messages read for “Cottages For Rent” to “Boats For Hire,” all done unprofessionally but with the charm of 50 years ago. One exhibitor had a large collection of old calendars, some with a run of 12 months, others showing half a year or less. The attraction of these calendars lies in the illustrations and advertising, generally a full-color photo of a handsome man hooking a large trout and about ready to net it, or a hunter in the winter woods with a large buck or bear in his sights.
But what really sets the tone of the Adirondack show is the quantity and quality of the trophies available. Large stags, beavers, bears, fox and other species abound, and there is a good market for them. Jon Magoun of Paris, Maine, came with the largest menagerie of livestock including two standing bears – one sold immediately- and about six or eight large bucks. Jon said, “A lady came into the booth and mentioned the large stag she wanted last year had sold, so this time she came early and bought the largest one.”
And people were buying. The shipper filled his truck in the first two hours of the show, and the porters in orange T-shirts were kept busy running things from the distant booths down to the gate for pickup. The porters, by the way, are members of the junior and senior classes at Indian Lake High School. The superintendent gives those classes two days off from school to help out, and in return the show funds the senior trip. “We have to use two classes since there are only ten seniors and 14 juniors in the school,” Jerry Oliver said, “and they do a great job for us.”
The show is scheduled for September 16-17 next year and Oliver and Gannon promise another successful show, and good weather. It’s a promise worth holding them to.