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More in Business
Pa’s Antique Attic – Sure to please
OXFORD – One step inside Pa’s Antique Attic and you will instantly become in awe of, not only the amount of open space, but the items within the four walls.
It looks like a gigantic, gentlemen’s getaway…tongue and groove pine boards cover the walls and cathedral ceiling. High windows light up the display area with natural, outdoor light.
You are welcomed by a large David Duff eagle carving, and the walls are tastefully decorated with antique snowshoes, toboggans, sleds, fishing poles and carved wildlife. Even above you, wooden herons appear to fly and fish seem to jump out of their curved glass frames.
The ceiling is also the home to an amazing, 16-foot recreation of a snowshoe.
According to Paul Cote, owner of the Attic, it all started with a pair of snowshoes.
“I was always intrigued with snowshoes and started collecting them,” he explained. “Then I got into collecting sleds, wagons and toboggans, and then it grew to an all-out collection of recreational sports items including fishing poles, carved wildlife and mounted items.”
“Almost every item is locally made,” he added. “That’s what is so special about these collections. From Tubbs to Paris Manufacturing to Reggie Edwards, who was a great woodcarver from Mechanic Falls.”
So much collecting that it was time to hone down.
“I’ve been collecting over 10 years,” said Cote. “And as I accumulated more and more stuff, I thought it would be fun to open a small business when I retired from owning Pa’s Trading Company.”
So that’s what he did.
The Attic space doesn’t even claim all of Cote’s collections. Other rooms in the complex are filled with many personal items which he will share with visitors in the form of an exhibit.
“Right now I have my collection of sleds and wagons on display,” said the collector. “I would have to say that some of these are my proudest collections; my Snow Fairy Sleds from Paris Manufacturing. They were top-of-the-line sleds back in the 1870s and went for $60……a dozen! I purchased my first one for $7,400 and now I own five.”
“The wagons are very special too,” he added.
Next on exhibit will be snowshoes, toboggans and skis, all manufactured locally.
“I also have a great exhibit lined up for later next year, and that will be wildlife art, carvings and taxidermy. I have 50 items that the late Reggie Edwards carved. In fact I have the last piece he completed and the piece he never finished.”
Cote even made one item on display in his Attic.
“I bought out the contents of the last Snowcraft Factory and we found thousands of toboggan slats. My son came over one day and we got to thinking of how neat it would be to build a toboggan ourselves. It ended up at 80 feet long and could perhaps be the longest toboggan in the world.”
Cote claims the Attic is a great man’s shop.
“But I’m so surprised at the women who come here and love to look as well as buy! Many items are great for decorating, like the antler chandeliers, china and glassware.”
Pa’s Antique Attic is open for one week each month.
“I am open the first, seven days of the month,” he explained. “It doesn’t matter what day of the week the first falls on, that’s the day I’m open. It’s easy to remember that way and it always covers a weekend.”
And what happens the other weeks of the month?
That’s when I get to go hunting for treasures for the store,” he laughed. “Anyone involved with antiques will tell you that they much prefer buying over selling. And where I’m retired, that is what I’m going to do; three weeks buying, one week selling.”
“It’s like being in heaven.”
Pa’s Antique Attic is located upstairs inside Pa’s Trading Company on Main Street in Oxford. Cote’s hours are 9-5 on the first through seventh of each month. For more information call 462-4554.
IN HEAVEN – Paul Cote recently retired from owning Pa’s Trading Company and has now focused on selling his outdoor recreational sports antiques. Most of his collections are locally made, such as snowshoes, toboggans and sleds.