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Searching for the Lost Treasures of Ancient History: Also Known as Antiquing in CNY

People browsing an antique show

The Central New York Region is a picker’s paradise when it comes to hunting antiques.

The Central New York Region has everything a traveler could want out of a visit to New York state, from something old (historical landmarks, museums and rustic B&Bs) to something new (state-of-the-art science centers, modern theatrical performances and high-end spas). To emphasize the “something old,” the area is overflowing with quaint shops touting eclectic antiques and collectibles, offering a slice of the region’s rich past. It is truly a picker’s (and an historian’s) paradise.

For starters, the Madison-Bouckville area offers a year-round antique venue with over 30 shops featuring hundreds of dealers, plus the largest antique show in New York State every third week in August. This event, the Madison Bouckville Antique Week, draws more than 2,000 dealers for a weeklong show along one two-mile stretch of Route 20.

Another superb find for antique hunters in Madison County is The Market at Oneida Commons, a neat little mall open year-round that’s packed with vintage items, crafts, jewelry, books, furniture, locally-produced Pride of NY foods and other odds and ends that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Cobbler & Co. in Sharon Springs, Schoharie County, offers a treasure trove of antiques. Up on the second floor is a wide array of used, but “new to you” goods: a collection of old dishes, glassware, books, magazines and other collectibles.

In Oneida County, the Westmoreland Antique Center features 80 dealer spaces with a vast array of antiques and vintage collectibles like holiday merchandise, milk bottles, postcards and advertising collectibles, plus a vast selection of glassware, china and furniture.

Charlotte’s Antiques in Chenango County welcomes antique enthusiasts to pore over home décor, women’s clothing and jewelry, and rare collectibles, among other specialty items. For Iroquois artifacts, one-of-a-kind classics and various collectibles, Carriage Barn Antiques, Iroquois Antiques and Pheasant Farm Antiques are a few popular stops in the area.

The Little Falls Antique Center in Herkimer County showcases oldies but goodies from 18 dealers. Just a ways down the street, Stone Mill of Little Falls houses everything vintage from lighting, to clothing, to decorative arts and prints, plus local treasures like Oriental carpets from Erie Canal Carpets, sterling silver and cookbooks. The unexpected can be expected in the old factory atmosphere of this 1839 mill built on the banks of the Mohawk River, as the inventory is ever changing.

Greater Binghamton’s Clinton Street, aptly named the “Antique Row,” is a hot spot for antiquing, hosting as many as 30 dealers at a given time. The locale makes perfect sense, as Clinton Street itself is an antique – it existed long before the city of Binghamton.

Cooperstown in Otsego County is saturated in antiquing opportunities. More than 50 shops line the area, from main streets to country roads, including state Route 7 corridor from Unadilla to Oneonta, the state Route 28 corridor from Oneonta to Cooperstown, and US Route 20, the road to the Madison-Bouckville Antique Show.

For those seeking a myriad of vintage items, from china and glassware to historic textiles and furniture, shops like Barkley Barn Blue Ribbon Antiques, Lake Antiques and Man Cave Antiques & Artifacts are must-sees. Even the antiquing venues themselves are fascinating and range from charming homes to old barns brimming with collectibles.

For some, a successful hunt for the perfect antique can take months or even years. The Central New York Region’s seemingly limitless supply of rare antiques and collectibles in dozens of shops across the area, however, can certainly help to shorten the duration of that hunt and make it quite enjoyable along the way.