Tooling around in Liberty, Maine

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Liberty Tools three floors are filled with meticulously sorted tools as well as antiques and ephemera. hilary nangle photo. Downtown Liberty, Maine, comprises a barely handful of businesses, yet it draws visitors by the thousands each year. It’s a bargain-hunters find.

For starters, there’s Liberty Tool, a three-story building where tools fill every nook and cranny of the first floor and mingle with antiques, junktiques, books, and what-have-you on the upper floors. Across the street, the former Banks’ Garage has been reborn as the power-tool annex, a Craftsman extravaganza.

The shop is a must-stop for trades-people, collectors, renovators and home hobbyists, but it’s not the only reasons to visit this sleepy loop off Route 3 between Augusta and Belfast.

Liberty Graphics prints tee shirts for many museums and historical sites and attractions and sells the seconds here. Hilary Nangle photoUpstairs in the former Masonic Hall adjacent to the Annex is the Davistown Museum, a wealth of local history and historic tools and even artwork.

And downstairs is the outlet for Liberty Graphics, which prints tee shirts using water-based ink on organic cotton. Bins overflow with seconds, rejects, and test tee shirts for an amazing range of products and places. Tee shirts that would retail for $20 or higher are often $5 or less here. Just paw through it all and you’re bound to find one or, more likely, five you simply must have.

So, when you’re looking for something to do as November weighs heavy on the landscape, and you’re looking for innovative, yet cheap, Christmas presents for loved ones, you might brighten the bleakness and lighten your wallet in Liberty (but check the website for seasonal days and hours of operation).