Antique mall takes over former auto showroom

ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) - A former auto showroom in Ellsworth has new life.

The 1920's barn is now filled with thousands of antiques from all over the world.

"There's so many things in here and there is just so much to look at," said owner, Shelly Bradsell.

An iconic building along the Bangor Road in Ellsworth is thriving once again.

What once was a dealership has now been transformed into a shop full of history thanks to Shelly Bradsell and her husband, Tom.

Shelly has just ended a 20 year career in nursing and was looking for a change of pace.

"Life is a gamble and we said why not try it? So, that's what we did.," said Bradsell.

The couple bought the property in December of 2017 and then started renovations that took six months to complete.

"All new electric. All new plumbing, new roof, a whole new second floor we had to build on part of the building. Everything that you could imagine had to be done in here, we pretty much had to do it."

The Bradsells opened up shop last summer just before the rush of tourist season.

Since they building sits along Route 1 A, Bradsell says the name 1 A Relics just made sense. And so far, the name and the property have been a hit with tourists and those right here at home.

"Locals who have been driving by since they we're little saying, I've always wanted to get in there and see what's going on because the outside looks so different. Well now they can," said Bradsell.

Currently over 50 vendors are represented in this collector's paradise. Bradsell says the history of it all is what keeps her intrigued.

"You never know what's going to come through the door and you never know what the story that is associated with it," explained Bradsell.

And while there is so much for visitors to take in antique wise, the property itself is hard to ignore.

"When you get upstairs and see the work and craftsmanship that's been done upstairs, it's just like what was that and what we're they using it for ya know and what could we do with it? It's got so many nooks and crannies that know we've got vendors in it and actual stuff that sells so, it's pretty cool," explained Bradsell. "You don't expect to see all that highly varnished bead board and highly varnished floors, and a great big tree table in the middle of it all you know. So, yeah, it's a lot to take in. The columns and the woodwork that's on the ceilings and the curves and the round windows. Yeah, a lot."

Bradsell says they are just getting started on this adventure. They're finishing their renovations to the basement.

Next, they hope to convert a room to a small café for visitors to enjoy. But, as far as the inventory, it's sure not to disappoint.

"New items. New things. All the time. Every day."

1 A Relics is located at 444 Route 1A in Ellsworth.

For more information check out their page on Facebook.