A Stroll Down Main Street

Antiques, gifts and bargains await shoppers along Reisterstown's main thoroughfare

Focus on Shopping

April 18, 1999|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Sun Staff

Thank goodness Reisterstown's Main Street never got trendy. This short stretch is still as pleasantly sleepy and old-fashioned as ever, with funky finds and bargains galore at the many small antiques and gift shops that line the street. Main Street is also nicer than ever; credit a revitalization project that spruced up several blocks with brick sidewalks, reproduction gas lampposts and benches.

Here's a sampling of Main Street's shops, just to give you an idea of what you'll find. There are lots more. You can pick up a brochure that lists them at one of the stores, or simply wander up and down the street. Some of the shops are open only on the weekends, so if you're going during the week, be sure to call first.

Now 'n Then

208 Main St., 410-833-3665

Owners Doreen Lynch and Mary Meyers have decorated the 12 rooms of this Victorian house using country antiques, primitives, weathered architectural artifacts, fairy lights, everlasting wreaths and flowers they dry themselves. The effect is charming and a little haunted, as though Miss Haversham might step out at any time. In the spring, the owners add garden ornaments and implements to their wares.

Not to be missed:

The kitchen with its collection of antique tin cheese graters, wooden spoons, vintage linens, even a nostalgic bottle of Brer Rabbit molasses from someone's '40s kitchen.

Ruby Slippers

215-A Main St., 410-833-8183

Amid all the antiques shops, Sharon Gendler and Cheryl Katz's contemporary gifts and crafts store stands out. The two women have wonderful ideas for bas mitzvah gifts, from whimsical picture frames to custom-made memory boxes. (Girls can also register their gift preferences here.) And if you're shopping for Mother's Day, there is lots of pretty, reasonably priced jewelry.

Not to be missed:

The colorful, zany home accessories by Twist, like a contemporary spice rack with glass tubes topped by striped balls and beads ($88).

New England Carriage House

218 Main St., 410-833-4019

Cindy Morano used to sell antiques almost exclusively; but as they got harder to find and more expensive, the shop started carrying more reproductions and decorative accessories. Now every inch of the space is filled with collectibles like Boyds Bears and Beanie Babies as well as miniature porcelain boxes, trees covered with Victorian ornaments, Tiffany-style lamps and figurines.

Not to be missed:

There are still some beautiful antiques here. Check out the Victorian settee upholstered in dark blue velvet with an ornate carved walnut frame ($895).

Derby Antiques

230 Main St., 410-526-6678

While there is some turn-of-the-century furniture here, owner Richard Coppersmith's love is clearly art pottery and porcelain. He has majolica, Newcomb, Roseville, Weller and hand-painted Nippon. If those don't interest you, there are antique toys, games and pictures.

Not to be missed:

The unassuming little vase made by Newcomb in Louisiana in the late 1800s. It's pretty -- a soft blue with faded peach flowers and green leaves, but who would expect this pottery vase to be worth around $5,000?

Tina's Antiques & Jewelry

237 Main St., 410-833-9337

After 25 years in business, Tina's feels like an authentic country store, in spite of the fact that the antiques and estate jewelry are balanced by lots of fashion jewelry and kitschy crafts. If you fancy cat collectibles and other feline-related things, the Scratching Post -- an entirely separate shop -- is located inside Tina's.

Not to be missed:

The extensive collection of faux marble gargoyles, just the thing to perk up a garden.

The Missing Piece

239 Main St., 410-833-5984

Janelie Hand, the shop's young owner, is relatively new to Main Street. (She opened last year.) Her specialties are English, particularly Victorian, furniture and English china, including lots of teapots. The shop has its own carpenter, who does custom work and makes reproductions. He created that handsome corner cupboard, for instance, from 100-year-old pine. It looks like an authentic antique.

Not to be missed:

The Empire-period dresser in flaming mahogany veneer with marble top and mirror. Note the details -- the dovetailing and the square nails ($1,200).

Joshua's Lighthouse Angels

311 Main St., 410-517-0200

The store was opened in memory of Mary Dansicker's son, who kept the grounds and gave tours of a lighthouse while a student at St. Mary's College. (He was killed in an auto accident two years ago.) If you're looking for either lighthouse or angel collectibles, this is the place. The motifs appear on everything from wind chimes to switch plates, jewelry, pillows and cards. Upstairs is a Memory Room where people leave messages for lost loved ones.

Not to be missed:

The antiqued bronze Kirk's Folly watch covered extravagantly in tiny celestial charms and pearls ($125).

Directions to Main Street:

From the beltway, take Exit 19, 1-795, to Exit 7A, Franklin Boulevard east. At the second light, turn left onto Reisterstown Road. Follow it just over a mile until it narrows, becomes Main Street and takes you into Historic Reisterstown. Parking here is easy, either on the street or behind many of the stores.

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