I took a walk through the age of the Industrial Revolution and ended up with a few shopping bags. What’s not to like about an 19th century factory turned into a collection of offices and shops set in a parklike area, just off Interstate 95?
Historic Savage Mill has 36 shops and a handful of places for a snack or a meal. You can even make an appointment with an attorney or an insurance agent, stop by the studios of local artists or arrange your next vacation.
I like the antique shops here. They seem a good fit for an antique building. Dealer stalls line a long ground level floor. Whether you’re looking for something specific or just curious, you can spend hours down there. Furniture, jewelry, crystal and china, baby clothes from the 19th and early 20th century, mid-century tchotchkes and yellowed, dusty books are all on display. I spent most of my time browsing through the wonderful stalls of the antiques dealers. And I so wanted the antique white silk scarf and the Edwardian side table.
But I was content to take away little things: a fountain pen from The Queen’s Ink and cord for a handmade pendant from Bead Soup. And of course, I stopped for a snack.
I went on a Monday, not the best day to go. A few shopkeepers want a day off and so they close on Mondays. But if your only day is Monday, go ahead. There are plenty of shops selling everything from antiques to books to beads to Maryland-logo wear open every day of the week. A tavern and French bakery will take care of your hunger pangs, too.
Savage Mill has a self-guided tour. Stop by the Paymaster’s Office for a copy or print your own from the website. The buildings make up a National Historic Landmark, recalling the days of the Industrial Revolution when what happened here was high tech.
ⓒ Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman