treasure hunting connecticut

Treasure Hunting on the Connecticut Antiques Trail Last Updated 1/20

Whether you collect antiques or just like bringing a little old-school style to your life, Connecticut might just be your soul mate. We’ve got so many antique shops, markets, dealers and galleries, you could spend a week and not get to them all. To see what we mean, check out the listings on the Connecticut Antiques Trail, or take a look at a few of these popular stops.

Vintage Vendors

Wander through rooms and rooms of antiques, collectibles and other surprises at Antiques Marketplace in Putnam. Other multi dealer shops around the state include: Antiques on the Farmington in Collinsville (above), The Past Antique Marketplace in Montville, Clinton Antique Center, Essex Saybrook Antiques Village in Old Saybrook and Stratford Antiques Center.

Fine Art & Furnishings

On the Woodbury Antiques Trail, you will find dozens of antique shops within a short distance, making it easy to shop in this town in the western hills part of Connecticut. One of the shops you won’t want to miss is Mill House Antiques, featuring furniture, furnishings, art and accessories from all over the world, all in historic buildings framed by elegant gardens. If you happen to be antique hunting closer to the shoreline, Edwin C. Ahlberg Antiques in Guilford has been around since 1906.

Retro Cool

We’re not talking about your grandmother’s antiques here. West Hartford’s Blaze & Bloom (above) is just one of a handful of boutiques around Connecticut that showcase unique finds in an eclectic and funky style. Thats why it’s been named to House Beautiful’s “Best in Connecticut” list. From mid-century modern to junkyard chic, you’ll find vintage and repurposed furnishings and accessories that bring your home to life.

Distinctive Décor

For something beyond just a collectible, Seymour Antiques Company (above) is a complex of dealers and designers who specialize in a combination of antique collecting and interior design. Their fresh approach is to showcase vintage objects in a curated display, which inspires as it sells.

Flea Market Fun

Collectors, pickers and bargain hunters alike delight in the arrival of the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in New Milford (above), which opens in late March. Alongside roughly 500 vendors, you’ll find farmers market fare, food trucks and much more. For over 40 years, people have been enjoying the Elephant’s Trunk, which has also been featured on the TV show Flea Market Flip.

Architectural Details

Stamford’s United House Wrecking (above) is a one-of-a-kind destination that has been part of helping people find and repurpose unique and unexpected treasures since the 1950s. Wander through over 40,000 square feet of salvaged architectural materials like fireplaces and lighting fixtures, as wells custom furniture and vintage décor.

Searching for more treasure? Search Antiques now or look for ideas by region.

Find unique antique shops, boutiques, and flea markets all along the Connecticut Antiques Trail.

Best Metal Detecting Sites in Connecticut

By Joanne Rochman

In the woods, in the park, on the beach and in the field – oh the treasures you can find with a metal detector. There’s something about searching for lost treasure that never fails to evoke images of silver and gold and a trunk full of coins. While metal detecting has evolved to a near science with all of the high tech features now available on detectors, the thrill still comes down to the hunt for buried treasure. While many enjoy hunting by the sea, others swear that old cornfields are the best sites for discovering precious objects. Here are some accounts of the best places to go metal detecting.

Nor’Easters Metal Detecting Club
PO Box 2232
(203) 967-2062
Stamford, CT 06906
Hours: Meetings held Second Wednesday of most months at 7:30 p.m.

Where you hunt depends on what you’re looking for. If you want jewelry and coins, beaches and sea- sides make good hunting grounds. However, if you’re looking for historic items, you just might want to move inland. Jessie Thompson is the President of the Nor’easters Metal Detecting Club based in Stamford, CT. A true history buff, he takes his metal detecting seriously and he does it for historical preservation. A high tech kind of guy who runs a data center for AT&T, he eagerly slips into the past when armed with his metal detector. “There’s an intrinsic value to what I find,” he said. “I prefer to go inland on old farms and old church picnic grounds. I’ve found tons of stuff there,” he said. Recently, he found a George Washington Presidential Campaign Button.

Another metal detector enthusiast found a President Lincoln button. When Thompson and other members of the club hunt the fields, they go where the slaves worked the grounds. “Old corn fields and areas where old homes were burned down during the flu epidemic of the 1800s are also good hunting sites,” he said with unmistakable enthusiasm. One of his most memorable moments was when he found a large Connecticut Copper, a monetary coin used during the time of King George. “When I held it, I knew the last person who held this coin was from the 1700’s. I was holding the coin of a colonial. It’s an instant connection to your roots,” he explained.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Those who prefer beaches often follow the schedule of the tides. Obviously low tide is the best time to walk out and detect what the sea might have hidden beneath the sand. There are also those who enjoy detecting at lakes and ponds. John Pawloski is a metal detector aficionado. He still tells the story of what he discovered some 15 years ago. I was up at Squantz Pond and saw this suede glove in the water and ran my detector over it. It signaled a find and I just thought it was probably a button or something. I saw some coins nearby too,” described the veteran detector hunter. Since his detector was still signaling like crazy, he picked up the glove and found it filled with coins. There were 357 coins in that glove. It had a cash value of $29, but Pawloski wrote a story about the find and sold the story for about a hundred dollars, so he made out all right.

Of course, not all metal detector enthusiasts belong to a club. Some just like to go out on their own and are often called rogue detectors. Whether in a club or not, there are so many stories about fascinating finds. One man who insists that St. Mary’s by the Sea, ahistoric Bridgeport seaport of Black Rock, is a perfect site for finding jewelry. He has found gorgeous rings for his wife and granddaughter. One ring was a rare opal. It was appraised at more than a $1,000 and another fellow found a ring there appraised at more than $3,000.

Best of all people who enjoy metal detecting come from all walks of life. They are plumbers, educators, lawyers, corporate executives, and retired veterans. They all have something in common. They love connecting with the past and the excitement of finding buried treasure.

While metal detecting has evolved to a near science with all of the high tech features now available on detectors, the thrill still comes down to the hunt for buried treasure. While many enjoy hunting by the sea, others swear that old… ]]>