A holiday visit to Gardenworks, Salem, NY

by Sandra Hutchinson

Last Sunday, we headed out to Gardenworks Farm, in Salem, NY, to visit with our good friends and the farm’s owners, Meg and Rob Southerland, and to select our Christmas tree. It was just like old times, piling into the car with our two sons, worried about whether our younger son would feel car sick on the drive over hill and dale to get to the farm. Surprise — our “boys” are now in their mid-twenties, having returned home during the pandemic to work from our home, yet both were enthusiastic about accompanying my husband and me on our tree venture — and no one got car sick! Indeed, I had hoped to go to the farm a few days earlier, but my sons complained that their work schedules didn’t allow them to go then, and how could I even consider not including them in such a classic family tradition?

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Books & antiques in Hebron, NY—at the 1786 Wilson Homestead

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.

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Sally and Joe Brillon have converted a barn at their 1786 Wilson Homestead in Hebron, NY, into a shop chock-full of old books and antiques.

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.

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Sally Brillon loves interacting with book browsers at her atmospheric shop. She will insist you have a homemade cookie.

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