By Sandra Hutchinson
If you’re really looking for a day away from your 21st century demands, technology and chatter, take a drive out to Hebron, NY, in bucolic Washington County. At 1117 Chamberlin Mills Road, our dear friends Sally and Joe Brillon sell used books and an assortment of antiques in their 18th century barn, which just happens to be adjacent to their impeccably restored 1786 home. Click here for a link to the 1786 Wilson Homestead Facebook page.
While the book browser will find some fiction among the stacks, the shop’s focus is decidedly non-fiction. Indeed, Sally describes the shop as offering “non-fiction for the curious.” I can literally spend hours thumbing through the books, especially since Sally and I are drawn to similar themes— American and regional history; art, design and architecture; cooking; England and the British Isles; and descriptions of distant lands. It was at the Wilson Homestead where I found books on the history of Petra, in Jordan, before my family visited there earlier this year.
The shop includes an assortment of antiques, including framed prints, small furniture items, hand-woven antique coverlets, ceramics and hand-forged iron items. The Brillons also offer a selection of architectural salvage pieces they’ve acquired during their restoration projects, in a separate part of the barn.
Sally and Joe have a long history of authentically restoring their own 18th century homes, conducting historical research in Washington County and working and volunteering to help promote interest and research in local history. They are both retired teachers and they owned and operated Towpath Antiques in Fort Ann for several decades.
Sally also teaches open hearth cooking classes in the couple’s 1786 home. She will not be offering the classes again until spring of 2017, at the earliest, but you can call her at (518) 854-3134 and ask to be put on a list.
The shop is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm, May through early December, but is open by appointment during the week. Call Sally at 854-3134 and she will be happy to arrange a mutually convenient time. Or, you can email her at email@example.com. The address is 1117 Chamberlin Mills Road, Salem, NY 12865.