“Dave – Let not the marriage of true minds admit impediments. Let the past stay in the past. I don’t want to find fault anymore…”
This was the beginning of an inscription inside the cover of a copy of Hamlet I found in a dusty bookshelf in a dark corner of one of the many antique shops in downtown Snohomish. I wondered about Dave and what had come between him and the signator (Kim). I was curious as to whether Dave had even read this inscription, the book being pristine even cracking when opened among the other used and worn covers. Then I cast my gaze around me and farther down the aisle leading to other stalls and booths housing countless items wondering what secrets they also held. I could not imagine the hours and days and more that would be required to unearth them all.
If you are in Snohomish and looking for antiques but not in the market for anything in particular I recommend stopping first at TroyBeck Antiques. The shop is easily identified by its green exterior and the array of antique-ish items crowding the front windows. Inside you will be dazzled by more electric beer signs than you would imagine one could assemble inside of one room and it will require a steady nerve to take in the countless items in all the cases surrounding you. In just a few minutes I came across a multitude of items including but not limited to: vintage tap handles, nutcrackers styled like King George, plastic coffee mugs molded like Mount Rushmore, silver dollars, silver dimes, a $10 bill valued at $29.50, a “Gone With the Wind” paper doll collection, brass Jello molds in the shape of fish, wood cutting boards in the shape of pigs, vintage typewriters, intricate sandstone carvings, wooden maracas, neon globes still bearing USSR, leather baseball gloves, a crocodile waiter statue, vintage postcards, rhinestone snake pendants, gold pocket watches, sterling silver thimbles, and countless more. This store is a bric-a-brac goldmine and immensely fun.
Remember When Antique Mall
Should you be interested in larger items, say antique furniture, a stuffed moose head, or cast iron stove requiring at least 5 individuals to move it then you should next wander to Remember When Antique Mall where you will walk into a showroom of pricey but pristine mahogany furniture along with ancient kitchen/outdoors supplies. Downstairs you will find multi-leveled basement rooms and with assorted furniture and other items of decor. It took my mother and I several hours to take in just these 2 shops and by the time we emerged from the mustiness that permeates a good antique shop we were ready for a rest.
Lunch happened to be at the Randolph Cellars Winery between the two shops with a balcony overlooking the Snohomish River. Here we enjoyed watching the water make its leisurely pace downriver and were pleasantly surprised to see a bride and groom make an appearance along the bank for their wedding photos. My mother remarked that it was lovely to see people doing normal things again and as I agreed I took notice of the face masks either hanging from the ears of our neighboring diners or resting near at hand on the tables.
After lunch I noticed an appreciable enthusiasm for further ‘antiquing’ courtesy of the wine we consumed with lunch. Upon entering the two-story warehouse, Antique Station, each turn and corner elicited a “wow” and “pretty!” and “THIS is nice!” from my mother and mostly myself. The manager of the shop remarked that his business improves considerably when his customers drink their lunch and as I breezily strolled out the door in my new camel cashmere coat, a small bag of hanging crystal decorations for my aunt, 2 vintage books, and an antique egg separator for my mother to use with my nieces on their next visit I could not disagree with this idea. That it was close to 4:45 p.m. and they were closing up shop was what saved my pocketbook from further damage.
Star Center Antique Mall
Upon return to Snohomish the next day we started out at the Star Center Antique Mall. Inside another building acting as a vault of the past I was taken with the number of dressers and sideboards and entry tables I found myself rationalizing stuffing into my apartment in Queen Anne. I was stunned by the cases of glass arranged by color and then by style as far as my eye could see and peeled myself away from one case containing a first edition of “Gone with the Wind” that I feebly convinced myself was not a vital addition to my new apartment. This time after lunch I found myself walking around the store in a fox fur coat carrying an ornately gilded and entirely impractical mirror but fortunately my lunch was a ham and gruyère croissant and not a glass of wine so I deposited my items back where I found them before moving onto the next shop.
Fabulously Frugal Thrift Shop
Fabulously Frugal Thrift Shop was a departure from the organized cases of collectibles and antiques housed by vendor/style/era in the other stores. Here you will find the items that have been loved and donated to benefit the Snohomish Senior Center. This is where one must be prepared to unearth items from piles of old cushions, stacks of furniture, or shelves teeming with used appliances but will be amazed at the bargains once you do. This is where you can find a Mr. Coffee for $3 if you are not a fussy caffeinated person or a genuine mid-century coffee table for $25 if you can believe your eyes. It will take time and patience to unearth these treasures but upon doing so you will feel an odd sense of achievement just as I did when I departed with two framed pictures, a water jug shaped like a fish, an ornate glass decanter, a new lamp, two La Creuset roasting pans, a woven footstool, two pairs of wool trousers, two jackets, a navy pea coat, and a copy of “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo” for just $23.50.. And if you are so fortunate as to arrive on the third Saturday of the month (also as I did) you will find the entire store 50% off.
I emerged from the store into the parking lot and purchased a fresh bouquet of flowers from the weekend stand set up in the parking lot. Gazing down the road I spied another few shops bearing the words, “vintage,” “antique,” and “junk” in their names. I considered if I had the energy or mental acuity to take in any more of the treasures buried in their shelves and decided I did not. The shops in Snohomish cannot be consumed in just two days and what’s more, the endless stream of treasures and junk will never cease making its way through them leaving a continuously new landscape to be unearthed by the next adventurous spirit, and I guarantee it will be worth it if you do.
Stores mentioned in this article:
TroyBeck Antiques 923 First Street, Snohomish, WA 98290 Monday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Antique Station Victoria Village 1108 First Street, Snohomish, WA 98290 Monday – Sunday 10 am. – 5 p.m.
Star Center Mall Antiques 829 Second Street, Snohomish, WA 98290 Monday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Remember When Antique Mall 908 First Street, Snohomish, WA 98290 Monday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Fabulously Frugal Thrift Shop 611 2nd Street, Snohomish, WA 98290 Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sunday 12-4 p.m.