Maine is a favorite place to visit for history buffs. From the historic house where Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Brunswick, to the many historic forts and lighthouses that line the coastline, to the Maine State Museum, Maine is bursting at the seams with reminders of the past. People enjoy reminiscing about days gone by and how life used to be.

In an effort to help homeowners recreate the look of those days gone by, antique and primitive gift shops have sprung up across the states. One of those is Saltbox Primitives at 290 Eastern Avenue in Augusta.

Melissa Cameron Turner, the owner, said that she first had the idea of opening the shop “because of her love for country primitives and all that it represents.”

She said that when her husband Scott Laliberte and son Jeremy Cameron became interested in building reproduction chimney cupboards and country cabinets, the decision was made to open a shop specializing in reproductions. They did so in 2005.

“The time-worn paint on the furniture, along with the linen patterns we offer, all help create the Old New England ambiance of a country home in Maine,” said Turner. “Historical prints along with lighting, lanterns and chamber sticks filled with battery tapers, redefine how our ancestors lived in another time.”

Along with serious decorating options, country cottage, farmhouse gifts and home décor are available at Saltbox Primitives. Jewelry, purses, Ledgeway Farms goat soap and Stonewall Kitchen items are also sold at the shop. Beautiful florals for all seasons and stuffed bunny rabbits are other popular items.

Candles and country cupboards are their best sellers, Turner said.

“What makes us different from other gift shops? The trip to Saltbox is always relaxing. As you enter the shop, the scent of Candle of the Week makes you want your home to smell like that right away; the coffee pot is always going and just walking through the displays gives you every idea you need for your country home,” said Turner.

“Trying to support Maine crafters is a plus and your packages will always be wrapped with vibrant tissue, bags and plenty of ribbon.”
According to Turner, people of all ages patronize their shop because of the personal items and gifts.  She said that “many men come in for gift cards, always trying to get on the good side of someone who loves Country Primitives.”

More information can be found on their website SaltboxPrimitivesMaine.com. Photos and videos of their products are also available at facebook.com/saltbox.primitives.