Owner Linda Hammond Spaulding stands behind the counter at Mill River Vintages, a new antiques and collectibles shop in Harrington. It is located inside a building that serves as storage for several years. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY JOHANNA S. BILLINGS

New business recycling old building in Harrington

HARRINGTON — For the past several years, the Cole Creek Plumbing & Heating building on Route 1 has held old things.

It still does. But now the things are prettier.

Instead of serving as storage space, the building is the new home of Mill River Vintages, which features antiques and collectibles such as china and glass, sewing items, dolls, furniture, kitchen items and linens, along with a handful of Maine-made items.

The venture is actually a spinoff of the antiques and collectibles shop inside Swamp Yankee Barbecue in Jonesboro. Inside the restaurant, opened in 2016 by Myron and Linda Spaulding, were shelves that were perfectly suited for displaying vintage items. As a sideline, Linda enjoyed selling antiques and collectibles online and in the restaurant both for herself and for others.

“It was bringing in a little spending money for me,” she said.

Like many in the antiques and collectibles business, Linda couldn’t pass up a bargain, especially on something she liked, and her stock of treasures outgrew its space.

“The silverware set has been sitting on top of our freezer since we opened [the restaurant],” said Linda, pointing to a high-quality set displayed in a wooden box.

Some items are just unusual or fascinating.

“I kind of like the uranium glass,” Linda said. “I know there’s not a lot of value in it, but I like the way it glows.”

Also known as “Vaseline glass” because of its transparent yellow-green color, uranium glass glows under black light because uranium oxide was used in the manufacturing process to achieve the color.

Linda also wanted to expand her space in order to handle bigger items such as a butter churn and accordion. The couple considered renting an old Grange building near the restaurant but were unable to get a long-term lease.

They approached friends Bonnie and Chip Williams, owners of Cole Creek Plumbing & Heating, about a building on Route 1 at Dorman Road. It had been a Cole Creek retail store until 2012, when the owners closed it in order to concentrate on the repair end of their business, Myron said.

Long before it was a Cole Creek store, the building also served as home to a women’s club known as the Social Circle of West Harrington, Myron said.

Within less than two months from that initial conversation with the Williamses, the store has been set up and is ready to open May 2.

“All of a sudden that ball started rolling a lot faster than we ever thought it would,” Myron said.

In order to prepare the space, the Spauldings and Williamses removed the items in storage. The Spauldings cleaned the building and painted the walls, floor and ceiling. They plan to paint the exterior of the building and haul in gravel to improve parking, Myron said.

Linda and a handful of partner vendors set up the space April 27-28.

Having a bigger space will allow Linda to pursue collecting and reselling, which Myron observed is clearly her passion. She agreed.

“I get to enjoy it for awhile before I send it off to a new home,” she said.

Mill River Vintages will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday through Monday. For more information, call 607-9068.

Johanna S. Billings

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Johanna S. Billings covers eastern Hancock County and western Washington County. An avid photographer, she lives in Steuben with her husband and several cats. She welcomes tips and story ideas. Email her at [email protected]

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