Saturday, August 25, 2012

Antiques and more... Frye's Measure Mill

Another unique place on our "Antiques and More - East and South of Peterborough, NH" Google Map is Frye's Measure Mill in Wilton.  It is located a little off the beaten path at 12 Frye Mill Road (which is at the intersection of Davisville Road and the Burton Highway), but there are signs from Route 101 to help keep you pointed in the right direction.  The meandering drive to this out-of-the-way location actually helps to set the mood!  Stepping into Frye's is like stepping back in time. 

As you drive up the driveway, you can see how the main building hangs out over the water and holds the wheel that provides the power for the woodworking machinery in the mill, as it has been since the 1850s.  Once inside, it feels a bit like you have entered a museum, with wooden and Shaker-style boxes, period lighting, folk art, pottery, antiques and high quality reproductions, but with the warm and inviting feeling of a home.  The smell of fresh cut wood greets you, and you know the workshop is not far away.  Some of the earliest products of the mill included round and oval pantry boxes and measures, and since the late 1960s, at the request of Canterbury Shaker Village, the mill added Shaker box reproductions created with the same commitment to excellence as outlined in documented Shaker tradition.  On Saturdays, from June through October, visitors can get an in depth look at the antique water-powered machinery on the 1 1/2 hour mill tour.  (Typically at 2:00 PM, but call or see Frye's website to verify.)  Beyond the workshop and main floor, the gift shop continues upstairs with a  Christmas-themed loft and out into the mill yard, where you will find a small, antiques-filled barn and the old mill garage, where antique fire trucks and firefighting apparatus are on display.

A historic landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Frye's truly has a little bit of something for everyone (even those who are not necessarily inclined to antique shopping).  Their regular hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM and Sundays from noon to 5 PM.  From the day after Thanksgiving until December 22, the gift shop is open 7 days a week.  (Hours can vary, especially in winter, so check their website for details.)

P.S.  Have a particular interest in old mills?  Check out the SPOOM, Society for the Preservation of Old Mills, website.   Dedicated to preserving historic mills and informing the public about the significance of the milling industry in early America, they've got information about mills and events throughout the U.S.

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