FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Vintage suitcases, an accordion, glass bottles and jars, birdbaths and a 1950s telephone, shelving and tables, a Victorian love seat and hundreds of women jostling through the old barn, looking for treasures and pulling aside girlfriends to muse at their finds.
A barn sale takes place at Chartreuse & Co. on the third weekend of each month, year-round.
“We restock every day,” said owner Virginia Crum. “The really hard-core fans wanna be here the first day.”
On a rare February day when it was 70-some degrees, migratory shoppers flocked to Chartreuse, tracking in farm mud as they walked through a field from one building to the next, searching for goodies.
But when it was about 15 degrees in January, Chartreuse was just as busy, Crum said.
Located on Buckeystown Pike, Chartreuse is year-round yard-saling made easy. Someone already did all the work. Think of it as a highly selective flea market, where vendors are selected for their creativity and ability to decorate. The space is filled primarily with vintage items but — be it furniture or fixtures — they’re in great shabby-chic condition.
Among the retro is a hint of modern — re-stylized pieces that have been turned into rusted iron art or painted pictured frames, and storage bins and boxes aplenty — wooden boxes, mail sorters, drawers from library card catalogs, wire bins and baskets.
Items with a little more wear are located inside a separate barn nearby, and still more items — random doors and shutters and pieces of furniture — are in a small, open shed.
Crum’s grandparents bought the Buckeystown property in 1942, and she would visit the red-brick farmhouse each summer as a girl.
“We loved being at Grandma’s,” she remembered.
In 2001, Crum bought three acres and the house, where she lives with her family.
“Most of these beautiful old barns … are just falling,” Crum said. “And it’s just tragic.”
She wanted to see the old dairy barn preserved rather than torn down, though she hadn’t imagined it becoming a place to shop, drawing people from Washington and Virginia for the weekend tag sales.
“I’ve always had an affinity for vintage things and reclaiming things, (and) decorating,” she said.
Before it was called Chartreuse (Crum’s favorite color), tag sales were held in the yard with friends, the barn acting as a storage place. “It was just this little thing.
“It wasn’t old toys and videotapes. It was great stuff. We got a following of people who would always look for the signs” in the yard.
“It’s just grown from there … almost overwhelming by word-of-mouth.”
For a while, they held sales sporadically but then locked in a monthly weekend event.
More than a dozen vendors set up shop within the walls of the Chartreuse barn, each booth a mini world accented by the seller’s style.
“It’s a fun, creative group of women. We all come pouring in with all this stuff we worked on and found” the week leading up to the opening.
“When you walk in, it’s not just this place to shop,” Crum said. “There’s an indescribable energy.”
Information from: The Frederick (Md.) News-Post, http://www.fredericknewspost.com
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)