The Big Chicken Barn Books & Antiques

On many of our road trips to and from Vermont (home of Cabot Cheese, Long Trail beer and Colby’s family), we tend to track down neat little antiques stores and shops.  But when it comes to our own back yard, we tend to neglect it.  We live in Maine…which I’m pretty sure has one of the highest occurrences of antique stores per capita.  So we have much exploring to do.  Often, Colby has told tales of this antiques mall that is in a big old chicken barn.  He drives by it often for work (he’s a road salesman) and has said we needed to go check it out.  Well, wait no longer we went to  The Big Chicken Barn in Ellsworth, Maine.

Big Chicken Barn Books & Antiques

Oh so conveniently during one of their biggest sales of the year (apparently winter time is the time to shop because it’s slow and dealers drop their prices to move some product).  And yes…it really is located in a big ol’ chicken barn.

Big Chicken Barn Books & Antiques

It’s ginormous!  So tonight, I’m going to take you along for our coup tour and show you inside the Chicken Barn and some of the interesting things we came across.  Let’s step inside, shall we?!

Big Chicken Barn Antiques First Floor

I’m just now noticing that ship on top of the tall cabinet on the right and kind of want to go back and check it out!  That’s the beauty of The Chicken Barn, it goes on forever.  Say it with me now all The Sandlot Style…”foooooorrrrr-eeeevvvvvvvv-eeerrrrrrrr”.  The first floor is jam packed with booths on both sides of the aisle.  Then you go upstairs and find…wait for it…nothing but books and magazines.

Big Chicken Barn Antiques Second Floor

This may have been the moment in our Chicken Barn perusing that I turned to Colby and said, “I am very important.  I have many leather bound books and my apartment smells or rich mahogany.”  Oh Ron Burgundy…you just always say the right things.

And their selection of Life magazines is amazing!  They had at least 5-10 of each magazine through the years from way back when in thirties and forties right up until recently.  Except, ironically the one from the month/year Colby was born.

Big Chicken Barn Antiques Life Magazines

But let’s get on with the shopping!  Starting with these old mid-century modern nightstands.

Antique Mid Century Night Stands

I wanted to bring them home sooooo bad!  Especially because they were only $65 for the pair plus 20% off.  But sadly, they were a little short and a little too wide for our bedroom.

Then there was this old pottery.

Antique Pottery Vessel

Swoon!  I could just see it out on our front porch (once we redo it of course).  But at $135.00, it was a bit steep for me.  So I filed it away in the “things I’m looking for at the flea market” category of my mind and moved on to these old sleigh bells.

Antique Sleigh Bells

I nearly died.  I may have nuzzled them a little bit, kind of like a momma cat does to her young.  They just screamed “put me out on the front door during Christmas time”.  But alas they, like the jug, were a bit pricey for poor, cheap-oh moi, coming in at a whopping $150.  Then I came across this snatch hook.

Antique Snatch Hook

Love!  But maybe it’s just because I work for an industrial distributor and have a strange infatuation with old tools and supplies.  But I could also see this out on our porch but used in an un-traditional way.  I want to hang it from the ceiling, thread rope through it, hang a plant from it, and anchor the rope with a cleat on the wall.  Kind of nautical, industrial like.  Maybe even a series of two or three.

And then there was the jug…oh the aqua jug.

Aqua Glass Jug

And at $15 before a 20% off discount, it was totally affordable.  If I could have a collection of items (because everyone needs a collection right?!) it would be aqua glass vessels and large shells/coral.  Speaking of aqua glass…how about those mason jars?

Aqua Mason Jars With Metal Lids

They were all priced between $15 and $20 a jar, which in my opinion is a little overpriced.  I can get them at the local summer flea markets for under $5 each.  When I analyzed this thought in my head (yeah…that happens regularly…welcome to my mind in technicolor) I realized I may have a problem.  The fact that I could tell overpriced items vs. deals was a little disturbing.  What can I say…I like shopping flea markets and antique stores and I pay attention to price.

Then there were the cast iron, moose hooks.

Cast Iron Moose Head Hooks

So very Maine-ah.  These were priced at $10 each which is WAY overpriced and they’re not even antiques.  I found these online a while ago for about $2 each.  I’m seriously debating purchasing these (the online versions) and spray painting them and using them for towel hooks in the bathroom.

And hello collection of conch shells!

Conch Shells

I wanted to bring home every…single…one of those conch shells.  I have this grand vision of making built-ins for our living room and having them filled with a collection of books, aqua glass vessels, and shells like these.  And maybe a giant green jug or two, kind of like this one.

Green Glass Jug

I love a large, colored glass vessel.  I used restraint there…I could have said “I like large jugs”.  But I won’t go there…oh…wait…nevermind.

But the thing I loved the most, and thought about perpetually after I didn’t get it, and then the next weekend went back for, were the old, green metal cabinets.

Green Metal Cabinets

Yes, I may have picked one up (amongst a few other items) to use as some much needed storage and organization for our desk space.  Stay tuned for details on that organizational project.  And now begins my other obsession for old wooden crates, like this Coca-Cola crate.

Old Coke Crate

The Chicken Barn had tons of old wooden crates, including this stack of crates.

Old Crates

If I ever have a need for wooden crates, at least I know where to go to find them.

Also upstairs in the Chicken Barn is a giant section of old printed ads.  I could have spent all day perusing all those old ads (that and the stacks of Better Homes & Gardens magazines).  The ads were organized by product category (food ads, beauty ads, fashion ads, etc.).  This Wrigley’s ad had me at hello.

Old School Advertisements

But what really had me all hot and bothered was an old fan, which ironically could have cured my hot and botheredness with it’s cooling powers.  Although I would never use a fan like that, for safety reasons, but it would look adorable on top of a bookcase or dresser.

Old School Fan

Um…hello pink dishes.  Can you come home with me please?!  And magically organize yourself in my overstuffed, unorganized kitchen?!

Pink Antique Dishes

Then there was this guy.  Words can’t really describe this guy, but the picture can.

The Panther

I think it’s a panther?  What I do know is that it would scare the hair off of Goose in an instant.  I’ll just add “the panther” to the list of things that Goose is afraid of, right after fire hydrants and the UPS guy.

If it didn’t cost $75, I probably would have come home with this mirror.

White Antique Mirror

It was just so adorable, and feminine.  I can just see it in a pink, girl-ed up, little girl’s room.

And did I mention my love of the wooden crates?  Especially this crate with the metal adornments.

Wooden Crate For Bottles

It would be so neat to hang this on a wall and use it like a knick-knack display case.

As for what we got?  And where we put it?  You’re just gonna have to come back next week for all that dirt.  I’m just putting the finishing touches on one piece.

Pssst…Do you guys have a favorite antique store, flea market or salvage spot?  Do you also happen to ignore your own backyard but seek out little shops on road trips?  Ugh…there is literally a giant antique store within walking distance to our house and I’ve been there twice!


  1. Drool! I think you should totally get some moose hooks for the bathroom. Thanks for the tour! I’ve been trying to get out to Maine for years now. I’ll add thrift stores per capita to my lists of reasons to go!

    1. Thanks Jennifer! And if you ever do make it to Maine…give me a shout and I’ll give you the great shopping steals and deals tour! Do you live in New England as well?

  2. Oh man – this would be my dream place to shop in. Although it always stinks when something you fall in love with is too pricey 🙁 Boo. And I love that you referenced the sandlot, haha.

    1. Haha…thanks for the comment! And if you’re ever in central/mid coast Maine…you HAVE to stop by that place!

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