Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Postcards from Maine: The Big Chicken Barn

As we drive into Ellsworth, near the end of our long northern ride to Mount Desert Island, we ask ourselves if it's time for another visit to the Big Chicken Barn. This time, the answer was Yes, since it was closing soon, which would prevent us from becoming overwhelmed, freaked out, or bug-eyed from the experience.


At 21,600 square feet on two floors, it's a darn big chicken barn. It's packed with antiques, vintage items, used books and old magazines. The thing is, a lot of the stuff in there is really weird. I quickly photographed a random selection.  Let's begin with this creepy cross-legged creature with false eyelashes and a medieval headdress:

It looks porcine but I'm not convinced. Next to it is a bakelite mousetrap that accommodates four victims. If you were a mouse and saw your brethren felled by this contraption, would you still take the bait? Maybe they have mentally challenged mice in Maine.

Nearby was an extremely ugly bear: 

I suppose this contributed to the "Acadia Mountain Chic" decor of someone's home, but I will be happy to never see it again.

I wonder if this lamp, made out of a moose leg, came from the same rustic lodge:

I grew up surrounded by hunting trophies at my grandparents' house — a pair of moose heads, a trio of deer heads, a snarling bear head, a whole fox, and 28 racks of antlers (counted during long dinners) — but this lamp still did nothing for me. The best thing I can say about it is that the moose pictured on the shade appears to have only three legs, which makes me wonder if he or she mislaid this one.

As if there isn't enough surreal material in the Big Chicken Barn, someone has taken to crafting these figurines from dolls, ceramics, and shells. Their expressions say it all:

I hadn't seen colorful old telephones like these for a while:

I have a almond Trimline model somewhere in this apartment. I like phones that go "ring, ring" instead of beeping and buzzing, so I kept it. Perhaps it will turn up when we move this fall. And I will get rid of it.

Finally, there was this, which persuaded me to leave the Big Chicken Barn:

That doll, or whatever it is, has such a hostile expression that I couldn't help feeling it was up to no good. The lady in the photography shared my concerns.

We had a great vacation... after our visit to the BCB. It put the beauties of Mount Desert Island in even higher relief.


  1. Oh, thank goodness it's far enough away...I won't be there spending hours and hours.

  2. Those green phones... that was always my favorite color from back in the days when phones were available in all those colors. If you find your trimline phone, it may be worth some money depending on its age and condition.


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