Antique fair returns to town green after pandemic pause

Jul 4, 2022

Sellers and buyers filled the town green on Main Street on Monday for the Wareham Historical Society’s annual antique fair.

Monday marked the organization’s 44th annual fair, which was paused over the past two years because of the pandemic. 

But this year on the morning of Independence Day, about 20 antique dealers showed off their wares on the common between Main Street and Gibbs Avenue.

“This has been a very busy day,” society president Angela Dunham said, as she worked the kitchen in the building across from the fair. “This is our biggest fundraiser now.”

Nearby in the main hall, Frank McNamee of the Marion Antique Shop appraised items for people visiting the fair.

The appraiser, who said he’s worked with antiques since he was in high school, helped people determine the value of their collected items and old antiques. He said at one point during Monday’s fair, he’d appraised a French painting someone had brought in for a value between $2,000 to $3,000 dollars, the highest appraisal he’d completed yet that morning.

“You never know what’s gonna come in,” McNamee said, adding that the New York Times had recently covered the story of a drawing his shop helped sell for more than $500,000 in 2020.

While McNamee appraised items inside, across the street antique dealers sold off their wares to passersby.

Randolph dealer JoAnne O’Brien said she’s been coming to the Wareham antique fair for years. Though she was selling an assortment of goods on Monday, she said some of the items that bring her the most joy are her older wooden items, like a long bowl and chopping boards she featured on one end table.

Nearby, Olerie Cobb of Marshfield had set up her table in the shade of a towering tree, as visitors looked over her jewelry and décor options. 

Cobb has also attended the Wareham antique fair for a number of years, she said. She doesn’t focus on selling a specific type of antique, she said, instead opting to attract a wider range of buyers.

“I like to diversify,” Cobb said.