MADA iconMaine Antiques
Dealers Association
July 1, 2013
Welcome To Custom House Gallery!

Custom House Antiques Gallery is a large, three story, Federal Mansion boldly presiding at 43 Main Street in Limerick, Maine, 235 years after it was built.  In those days it was a tremendous

achievement for the 36 inch wide by 16 fool lone granite slabs to be towed from Vermont to 

for the foundation of the mansion. But, Major General John McDonald, it's owner, 

custom house gallery 2

had a vision for a grand estate and nothing was

spared to complete the imposing appearance and strong structural foundation of this Historic Mansion.


Major General John McDonald was a friend of General George Washington and a member of the 

Maine State Senate for five terms until his death in 1826 at age 52.  He was nominated Governor

Governor during that year and was Judge of the Court Sessions, Justice of the Peace and Major

General of the Maine and Massachusetts Militia during the War of 1812.  He used his mansion's grand third floor ballroom for Militia Practice during the War of 1812. The spring floor boards have survived to this day lively dancing as well as militia drills.


It is said that hidden in the Mansion, are his fringed uniform epaulettes.  One was seen sitting on

the fireplace mantle in May of 2012 in the grand third floor ballroom, then suddenly it disappeared

again.  The home stayed in his family for almost a century and was passed on to each descending

generation until it was sold in the year 1900 to Steven A. Grant of the Crawford House in Boston. 

He turned it into a lucrative Inn called :Shade of the Elm Inn".  The original sign resides inside the

lobby of the Custom House Gallery today.


During the 1830's and onward, many coach travelers visited the Inn and one in particular stands

out. His name was Payne, an avid follower of the famed artist Rufus Porter.  He painted murals in

the likeness of his mentor on the front foyer walls and staircase along with several second floor

rooms instead of paying for his stay. This was a common New England practice during the early

eighteen hundreds. custom house gallery 


During the 1920's one of the Inn's owners began

redecorating and removed some of the wallpaper that had

been put over the murals some time in the previous century

He was amazed to see the most vibrant and

colorful paintings. He had all the wallpapers carefully

removed. They are painted on plaster and still fully intact

throughout the first and second floors.


Some researchers believe that the murals of the vistas of

the sea, mountains, and meadows with grazing sheep are

actually those of Rufus Porter. However, some of the vivid murals are more to the likeness of the

followers and students of Rufus Porter.  It has been documented that some of the scenes are from 

the mouth of the Saco River and Casco Bay with stately clipper ships cruising through the bays. 

One of the murals over the fireplace in a second story chamber portrays the early Shaker

settlement near Poland Springs.


The estate still boasts important original stenciling, knotless 26 inch wide King's timber floor boards and wainscot throughout the rooms.  There are 10 formal fireplaces, an original

custom house stairway mural

early kitchen with an open hearth so large it takes up one entire wall and hand carved moldings, Indian shutters, carved wide pine

and heavy crown molding, all original to the home.


The mansion has not been open, for the most part, to the public for the past 20 years.  It's doors are now fully open to all, and space is rented to New England Antiques Dealers (established and new to the

trade ) who may display and sell their antiques and collectibles in

this group gallery. The gallery is open April through December

every day of the week but Monday. Operating hours are from 10am

to 5pm. All are welcome to browse and take in the adventure of 

touring this historic building.


We have more space available for dealers to enter and sell their

antiques, so please call 207-793-8788 to make an appointment. Please be sure to visit our website

Elaine Custom House Antiques  to view our 100 pictures of this beautiful and historic federal mansion.

Someone, like Elaine, to our left, is always here to greet you with a smile.  When you arrive you will feel like you've entered into Early New England Americana

and be surrounded with thousands of  antiques.  Come and enjoy treasure hunting at the Custom House 


-Heather Smith Labbe


MADA Board of Directors
2012 - 2013
Elizabeth DeSimone
1st Vice President
David White
2nd Vice President
Mary Ann Betke
Jim LeFurgy
Deborah Stufflebeam
Ex Officio President
Nancy Prince
Board Members
Martin Ferrick
Sandy Gnidziejko
Deborah Gott
Harry Hepburn
Neville Lewis
Malcolm McFarland
Peter Pardoe

Board Alternate
Eleanor Alley


MADA Events
Board of Directors Meeting 
Mae's Cafe
Bath, ME
July 17, 2013  
10am - 1:00pm
*   *   *
Roundtop Antiques Show
Damariscotta, Maine
August 28, 2013
*   *   *
Maine Antique Symposium
"A 21st Century View"
Colony Hotel
Kennebunkport, Maine
September 28, 2013
Sponsored by 
Maine Antiques Dealers Association
in Collaboration with the
 Kennebunkport Historical Society

Come support our 
Maine dealers 
exhibiting at 
these upcoming 
antiques shows:




47th Annual New London

Garden Club Antiques Show 

and Sale

On the Green

Main Street

New London, NH

July 27, 2013
Sunday: 9am - 3pm
 *   *   *

Upcoming Events

Saco River Auction 

Mill Complex

2 Main Street

Biddeford, Maine

July 17, 2013

Auction Begins: 5pm

FMI: Click Here


*   *   *


Quick Links


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MADA Conducts Survey
MADA icon


The Maine Antiques Dealers Association (MADA) is a statewide association dedicated to assisting you to grow and sustain your antique business. We want to know how we can better serve your business needs. To this end, we have emailed you a MADA survey in an attempt to understand further how we can help our members and encourage others to join MADA.


Please take a few minutes to complete our survey. Your feedback will help determine future events, antique shows, and the direction our Board will take and undertake to meet what is in the best interest of our current membership and future members.


If you have not taken the survey, please do.  If you need another copy of the survey, please click here. Thank you to all who have participated in our survey.  We will report the survey results to you in our upcoming updates.

MADA Participates in Maine 
Home & Design  Show
Debbie S. and Samantha


MADA's participation in the 2013 Maine Home & Design Show was an equal success to that of last year. The Maine Home & Design Show held annually this past weekend, was in its glory this year located in Rockport, Maine.  


As a result of having a booth space representing the best of Maine Antiques we were able to share with hundreds of attendees what our association is all about including its offerings to Maine and our MADA Antique Dealers. MADA directories, and business cards of those whom displayed their antiques during the show were given freely to attendees. 


An added MADA booth plus to the show were those  folks attending who were very friendly, engaging and inquisitive about Maine Antiquing and antiques in general. Many, many good contacts were made as a result of having our booth here for the second year  in a row and we are  confident that some of our members will see and hear from these people visiting their shops because of MADA's presence at the Home & Design Show.


Special kudos and gratitude go out to Debbie and Samantha Stufflebeam for coordinating  and manning MADA's booth this close up in MADA booth year. Their contributions to our association are exemplary.  


Many thanks go to those MADA members who were able to contribute items in our booth for display and sale.  These folks include:  Cabot Mill Antiques, Michael Leslie, Lea Wait, Deb Gott, Sandy Gnidziejko and Ellen Heath from Little River Antiques & Collectibles.


We are already looking forward to next year's involvement in the Maine Home and Design Show!


In Memoriam


We mourn the passing of our friend and colleague

Bill Belmore who passed away at his Wiscasset home

on June 24.  He was also the loving husband of Pamela and father of Adam and an icon at Avalon Antiques in Wiscasset.


The family has requested, if you wish, that donations be made in his memory to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute for the center of neuro-oncology. 


Our heartfelt condolences and sympathies go out to his family.  Bill will sorely be missed.

Purchase Fall Symposium Tickets Online
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If you would like to attend our Fall Antique Symposium you can now order your tickets online via our MADA Website.
We are tremendously excited about offering you a host of well respected and extremely knowledgable antiques dealers and auctioneers who will be participating in the Fall Antique Symposium - "A 21st Century View."

Working in collaboration with the Kennebunkport Historical Society, the Fall Symposium celebrates decorative arts and antiques from Maine along with a panel discussion regarding the state of antiquing in and around Maine by formidable individuals within the industry. We are extremely fortunate

to have such renowned individuals from within the antiques community as Ron Bourgeault, Edward Churchill, Susan Edwards, James Hastrich, Richard Keating, Linda LaRoche, Kate Manko, Hap Moore, Joy Piscopo, Earle Shettleworth, and Kaja Veilleux joining us. 


We would like to recognize the following individuals and businesses for their financial support in helping to make our Symposium a reality:  Maine Antique Digest, Jeff Bonney, and Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.


The Maine Antique Symposium will be held on the grounds of the prestigious Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine on September 28, 2013 from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.


Click here if you would like more information about the Fall Symposium and to order your tickets online.
Damariscotta Antiques Show
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The Damariscotta Antiques Show - 'Roundtop' - is scheduled for August 28th.  If you are a member of MADA and wish to receive a dealer contract for this show, please contact Paul Fuller by clicking here.


MADA Offers Direct Link 
From Your Website To Ours
MADA member icon
If you are a MADA member and have your own website you can now have installed on your website an icon directly linking you to the MADA Website.  

The icon is designed to let other folks know you are a member of MADA and can easily be downloaded via your website provider.  Simply click here to request the icon code then forward this code on to your website provider for easy installation.  The above icon will then appear on your website where you have located the icon code. When folks click on this MADA icon they will be directly linked to our MADA Website.
Got News?
Send us your collecting club news,
 historical society updates,
 shop announcements, sale events, 
change in store hours, auction dates, or
your antique show dates and we will
 gladly post them in our
 twice-monthly  MADA Updates.
Click here to email us directly.

Visit Our MADA
Facebook Page and "LIKE US"  

Attention antique dealers, show promoters, historical society members, and antique collectors and enthusiasts. You can utilize our MADA Facebook Page as an informational resource to spread YOUR word. 

Feel free to post "what's new" in your store or promote  your upcoming antique show or shop sales, or your current or updated museum or historical society's exhibitions.  Our MADA Facebook page is here for you to keep in touch with MADA news, share your news, or to grow your  own business. 

 Click Here  for the link to our MADA Facebook page.  While you are there, remember to "LIKE US" and receive MADA updates automatically.