FREE spring 2012 â€˘ vol. 15, no. 1
modified meeting house
life in miniature
walk this way
I’m sorry, Gertrude, but when you come from a long line of people who tend to view just about everything from a perspective of re-use, a rose is not always a rose. When something has fulfilled its intended purpose, it doesn’t mean it is no longer useful, and Mainers understand this better than most. Take the Sweden Congregational Church, for example. When it closed its doors for lack of a flock, it remained closed until the town counsel decided it was a fine solution to Sweden’s need of a town garage. Forty years later, someone else saw it as a place to lovingly restore and call home. Thanks to our stubborn inability to cast aside what others may see as no longer useful, a piece of history has been preserved. That same stubbornness, or perhaps ingenuity is a better word, also accounts for the wealth of antiques and collectibles to be found in the lakes region. Not only are there a growing number of antique and second-hand shops in which to hunt for treasures, there are businesses dedicated to restoring and repairing what someone else discarded. Speaking of which, that cracked ceramic vase you found in Italy could become a uniquely beautiful lamp in the hands of the Lamp & Shade Shop owners. And right next door at Topnotch, Craig Jud can turn the chest of drawers that’s been hanging out in the barn into a work of art. Think of it as reusing the past as a means to saving the future. —Laurie LaMountain Editor & Publisher Laurie LaMountain Contributing Writers Leigh Macmillen Hayes, Joyce White, Nick Nataluk Contributing Photographers Ethan McNerney, Margaret Reimer, Edward Carman, Leigh Macmillen Hayes, Nick Natuluk, Mark Clement Graphic Designer Dianne Lewis Proofreader/Copy Editor Leigh Macmillen Hayes Lake Living is published quarterly by Almanac Graphics, Inc., 625 Rocky Knoll Rd, Denmark, ME 04022 207-452-8005. www.lakelivingmaine. com e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ©2012. All rights reserved. Contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent from the publisher. Annual subscriptions are available by sending check or money order for $20 to the above address.
spring 2012 • vol. 15, no. 1
8 modified meeting house
by laurie lamountain
by leigh macmillen hayes
16 let there be light!
by leigh macmillen hayes
19 walk this way
by nick nataluk & laurie lamountain
22 lovell life in miniature
by joyce white
24 antiques tour of the
26 herbal eats
by laurie lamountain
cover photo by ethan mcnerney
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modifed meeting house by laurie lamountain • photographs by ethan mcnerney
Re-use is the only way to prevent long-lasting vacancy or destruction of the historical layer . . . designboom.com
all it a sign of the times, or adaptive reuse, or creative conversion . . . however you choose to view the current trend of converting churches, schools, and other public building into private residences, it has created a hybrid form of traditional architecture that is unique and often impressive. Contrary to what some may view as the decline of organized religion, adaptive reuse of churches is often what saves these unique and historic structures from complete demolition. Dwindling rural populations and replacement of dilapidated or outmoded architecture have also contributed to churches closing their doors to their congregations and opening them to private buyers. Rick DuBrule and Jessica Jones had been searching real estate Web sites for more than a year when they stumbled on a listing for the former Sweden Congregational Church. Archives from the Sweden Historical Society note that the church was built between 1818-1823, and was last used for services in 1884. Jessica was immediately intrigued by the prospect of living in an old church and the couple made an appointment to view the property. Despite unfinished walls, plywood floors and a musty odor upon entering the building for the first time in 2008, Jessica and Rick were taken with the timber-framed interior and high windows and made an offer by the end of that week. Had they seen it as it was when prior owner Robert Vile bought it, they might not have been so eager. Robert Vile obviously had an eye for potential and a lot of
energy and experience with which to restore the former churchcum-town garage to its original stateliness when he agreed to purchase the property in 1973. He didn’t actually take title to it until 1975, after investing two years of materials and hard labor into the building, so it was indeed a leap of faith on his part. It was, in Robert Vile’s words, “a real handyman’s special.” After falling into a state of disrepair that prevented any prospect of the building being once again used as a house of worship, the town of Sweden opted in the 1930s to employ it as the town garage. By the time Robert Vile first saw it in the ‘70s, large openings had been cut into the front and one side of the building to allow access for the town tractor and truck. The roof leaked, some of the trusses were dry rotted, the siding was hanging off in places, and critters had set up housekeeping inside. Through it all, Robert Vile recognized the beauty of the building and made it his business over more than twenty years to restore it to its former glory while adapting it to current use.
“We love to dance on it,” says Jessica. Whether it’s the table she’s referring to or the floor, one has to wonder what the original parishioners would make of it.
When Jessica and Rick bought the property in 2008, they were given three volumes of photos in which Robert documented his painstaking restoration of the church. From 1973, when he and his wife acquired the property, until the fall of 1977, Robert Vile completely restored the exterior of the building with windows and doors he built at his in-home workshop in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. All of the trim, most of the siding, and the roof were replaced, and by January of 1978, an exterior shot of the building was taken for that year’s Christmas cards. Weekends, holidays, and vacations were all spent “in church,” although it wasn’t until 1981 that Robert Vile actually slept, or more accurately camped, in the building he had spent so much time restoring. After completing all but the exterior rear siding, there was the vast interior to address. Living quarters were assigned to the front of the building facing Webber Pond Road, with roughly one-third of the 40’x46’ footprint dedicated to living and kitchen areas on the lower level, and bedrooms and bath in what had been the choir loft above. Framing, flooring, plumbing, heating, electrical, dry wall installation, and construction of a double flue chimney occupied most of the ‘80s. Altar railings he had purchased for $175 from a Lutheran church in Newtown, Connecticut, were raised and installed on the second-floor balcony overlooking the still unfinished great room below. In his journal, Robert refers to 1990 as “a year of many accomplishments,” with trim work, some finished flooring, closets, stairs, rear wall siding, and the addition of a breezeway and three-car garage among them. It was also the year he actually made the move to Sweden. The following year saw the completion of pickled pine cabinetry for the kitchen and, unfortunately, the end of Robert Vile’s journals. The meeting house was not complete, but Robert Vile’s life was nearly so. He passed away before seeing his beloved project to completion and is buried beneath his favorite tree across the road in Webber Pond Cemetery. Following his death, the meeting house went through a succession of owners until Rick and Jessica bought it in 2008. Their first order of business was to remodel and put finishing touches on the “living space.” That done, it was time to take on the much greater task of the unfinished great room. With Rick’s talent for construction and lakelivingmaine.com
It was, in Robert Vile’s words, a “real handyman’s special.”
restoration, along with a fearless sheetrock crew, they dramatically transformed the room. Six inches of spray foam insulation were applied to the unfinished ceiling by Mainely Foam, who had to work within the confines of the exposed timber frame. Wiring, insulating the walls, and sheet rocking were next. Finally, the plywood floor was taken off, a vapor barrier was laid underneath the building, and rigid foam insulation was fitted throughout the floor joists before laying the plywood back down. Hundreds of square-tipped nails were pounded into the finished 1x12” pine floor boards that were laid over the subfloor. Jessica and Rick have continued Robert’s tradition of borrowing history from other places by adding pre-Civil War stained glass windows salvaged from a church in Malone, New York. A 100-year-old canvas canoe perched among the rafters was a gift to Rick on his birthday from nearby Camp Wigwam. It is still a congregational space to the extent that Rick and Jessica love to entertain their many friends in the 40’x30’ space, and they have reinforced the floor underneath the 1,000 pound dining room table it took eleven people to move into place. “We love to dance on it,” says Jessica. Whether it’s the table she’s referring to or the floor, one has to wonder what the original parishioners would make of it. It would be nice, albeit unlikely, that they would rejoice. When it was a church, men and women entered separately through two front doors, and staircases on either side led to the choir loft above. “The best part is that you can actually open up the bedroom doors to the great room and peer below,” adds Jes-
sica. It also provides a “nearer my God to thee” view of the double truss roof system that was hidden behind the arched ceiling until Robert Vile tore it down to expose the frame. With work on the great room finished and the breezeway turned into a beautifully appointed second guest room, the meetinghouse has completed its transformation from house of worship to simply home. Never ones to rest on their laurels, Jessica has directed her attention to the surrounding grounds and gardens, has planted fruit trees in the front and is already hatching plans for spring planting, while Rick is making noises about another restoration project. Having grown up in “handyman’s specials,” I do understand there is in some people a need to restore that which time and people have neglected, and it seems Rick and Jessica may be of that persuasion. Whatever the future holds for the meeting house, it’s certain it holds the grace of caring people who have passed through its doors before. R
The family even has a circa 1900 photograph showing Constance at about age six standing on the steps of stonehouse. by leigh macmillen hayes
nce upon a time three little pigs left the farm they grew up on and headed off to make their way in the world. The first pig met a man with a load of straw and begged for some to build himself a house. After the house was built, along came the big bad wolf, hungry for a meal. He called out to the pig, asking to be invited in. When the pig refused, the wolf huffed and puffed and blew the house in and then gobbled up the little pig for supper. As the story goes, the second little pig met a man with a load of wood who gave him a pile and the pig proceeded to build himself a house. In a similar fashion, John Mead, circa early 1800s, built himself a primitive house of wood in South Bridgton. The simple wood structure was possibly a plank construction and probably had no cellar or foundation; perhaps it was built upon four cornerstones. The big bad wolf in Mr. Mead’s case was the wind, which huffed and puffed across the fields and blew his house in. According to an account in Bridgton, Maine, 1768-1994: An Updated Bicentennial History, historian and newsman Charles O. Stickney quoted Mr. Mead as saying, “I can and will build a house that will stand the winds and weather.” John Mead’s father, George, was an English immigrant, who possibly brought with him memories of stone cottages and castles, along with the skills to build them, which he shared with his son. Since John owned over 200 acres in South Bridgton, including a stone quarry of exposed bedrock on a hillside ledge, perhaps this background was an inspiration for what happened next. Similar to the third little pig, who built his house of brick, John Mead decided to build his next home of stone. Granite is a hard, coarse-grained rock that consists of minerals including quartz and feldspar. Interlocked like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the minerals make granite one of the strongest and most durable rocks. Using the plug and feather method practiced in the 19th century, small holes were hand drilled every six or seven inches across the stone. Then two shims, called feathers, were placed in the hole and a wedge or plug was hammered between them. Visiting the quarry
today, you’ll find numerous right-angled cuts and drill holes along the edges of the remaining stones and boulders. No one knows how long it took John to build his 24’ x 35’ house of stone, which required great effort and craftsmanship to construct. It’s assumed that he worked on it in the winter months, when his farming duties weren’t as plentiful. By drilling in the winter, ice forming in the holes would have helped complete the work of splitting the granite. Using a stone boat or sledge pulled by oxen, John could move the split granite about a half mile down the road to the site of his future house. In time, this stone treasure rose from the hillside, where he’d situated it out of the way of the wind. On either side of the front door, John used two stones that have a line of quartz running at an opposite angle. Being mirrors of one another, it’s obvious that the stones were not randomly placed. Margaret and Terry Reimer are the current caretakers of the house. Despite there being no record, Margaret says of the construction, “We think part of the reason it has a daylight cellar is that they may have lived in the cellar for a while, while building the house. I can’t imagine that he could have cut and hauled the stone down fast enough to get two full floors of granite laid in a year.” Local historian Tom Johnson recognized the horizontal panelling on the inside cellar walls as the work of one of the neighbors, a Burnham. It’s believed that John Mead used the neighbor’s help and in return he probably laid a cellar for him. The cellar’s significance increases because it’s unusual to have a basement fireplace with a pot hook for food prep and laundry, plus finish work above. Margaret explains, “There had been a plaster ceiling and wood floor in this part of the cellar. It gives the impression that maybe they did live down here.” Besides two large windows and a door, the cellar also had a milk room and workroom. A copper kettle set in what looks like a beehive made from North Bridgton Brickworks bricks, served a dual purpose—as a wash boiler for laundry and a place to boil silkworms. In the spirit of the day, Mrs. Mead participated in the “Mulberry Mania.” Mulberry bushes were imported so the Meads could raise silkworms, providing silk thread for stockings, homespun blankets and more. The Bridgton history
book states the following: “ . . . Mrs. Mead, the elder, who gave us some account of her manufacture of silk. She avers that making silk is a very feasible, as well as profitable, business. Mrs. Mead has taken the first premium for silk-making at our County Fair for a term of years.” (p. 203) The central chimney supports seven fireplaces, including the one in the cellar, plus the kettle washer, three on the first floor and two on the second floor. Each fireplace originally had a granite hearth and mantel. The dwelling is an example of a house within a house. The stones are about fifteen inches thick. To keep the house wa r m , st rips of wood extend from floor to ceiling, supporting lath, which provides a backing for horsehair plaster. As an English professor, Margaret reflects that the he a lt hy, m at u re trees of the 1830s that were used to build the framework of the house must have been at least 150 years old, which means they were growing in Shakespeare’s time. The two story, two-room-deep dwelling retains much of its original work. On the first floor, the Meads had a small kitchen, dining room and small bedroom on the northern side of the house, with the great room and front parlor facing south. Historically, closets and cupboards were rare because people had few possessions to store. John Mead took advantage of the space, however, and tucked cabinets into areas of dead space around the chimney. The wide plank pine floorboards still retain some of the bark on their edges. Nine over six windows on the front of the house are reminiscent of the English cottage style. Steep stairs lead to the second floor. Margaret is quick to point out that these were much steeper in her youth, until her parents had local contractor, Terry Hubka, add an extra step to the risers. On the second floor, only one room was originally completed. The door to the room was made from one wide board, again reminiscent of the age of the trees.
On either side of the front door, John used two stones that have a line of quartz running at an opposite angle. Being mirrors of one another, it’s obvious that the stones were not randomly placed.
Over 175 years later, the wind may huff and may puff, but it will not blow in this house of stone that John Mead built.
Hand-hewn timbers are still visible from the upper floor. In John Mead’s will, he left a portion of the house to Lucinda. The Reimers have paperwork indicating that when John died she would receive the front parlor and back bedroom and she would have access to the kitchen and cellar. In other words, Lucinda would always have a roof above her, a place to lay her weary body, a kitchen to prepare a meal and the cellar to wash her laundry. Margaret is a direct descendant of John Mead’s wife, Lucinda Longley Cross Mead. Lucinda had been previously married to Ebenezer Cross, with whom she had a son, and daughter before he died. After Lucinda’s eventual death, the house was sold and left the family for a number of years. In 1942, Margaret’s grandmother, Constance Richmond, acquired the house she’d always dreamed of buying. With a little help from her mother, she scraped together $2,000 for the purchase. Constance lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but summered in Bridgton. Margaret says, “My grandmother grew up not only feeling like Bridgton was her second home, but also this was the definition of who she was.” The family even has a circa 1900 photograph showing Constance at about age six, standing on the steps of the stone house.
She and her mother hoped to open a tea shop in the cellar, since the house sat on a curve of the old course of Route 302. Unfortunately, at age 53, just a couple of years after purchasing the house, Constance succumbed to a heart attack as she left work at the University of New Hampshire, where she was a secretary. The house was left to her sons, Allen “Pete” Richmond and his brother, Tom. Tom never cared for the house so he sold his portion to Pete, Margaret’s father. Pete and Veva Richmond lived in Alaska with their four children, but when Pete, who was in the military, was stationed anywhere on the East coast, the family spent summers at Stonehouse. Margaret recalls that they have always fondly referred to it as “Stonehouse,” and not “The Stone House.” Her childhood memories include walking to the outhouse on dark, scary nights, learning to prime the water pump and braving a trip to the attic to plug in the electrical fuses. Electricity was installed in 1947. The kitchen, small by any standards, consisted of a 1940s era refrigerator, two hot plates and a toaster. They boiled water to wash dishes. Margaret says, “It wasn’t ‘til I was an adult that I realized how hard my mother worked when we were here.” Pete dearly loved Stonehouse. “I think partially because it had been dear to his
mother,” says Margaret. “He also loved the idea that it was a connection with the family. He remembered his great grandmother, Mary, who lived late into her 80s.” Sharing stories of his ancestors with his children and grandchildren created the same connection for them to this place. I suspect Margaret and her siblings will keep the connection to Stonehouse alive for generations to come. This solid, eye-catching structure was listed on the National Register of Historic Homes in the 1980s. In 1996, Pete wanted to add an ell, which would replace a former ell John Mead had built that probably had served as his workshop. A painting by John and Lucinda’s son, John Mead, Jr., indicates that the workshop had clerestory windows to provide light. After some adjustments to the plan, including the addition of a bow window at the suggestion of the preservation society, an updated kitchen, morning room and garage were added. Today, Margaret says, “The house itself seems to be absolutely plum.” Over 175 years later, the wind may huff and may puff, but it will not blow in this house of stone that John Mead built. The walls of the house stand as strong as they did in the 1830s when Mr. Mead mortared them into place. (At the time of publication, the Reimers are eagerly anticipating the arrival of their first grandchild.) R
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“I must breathe...a day doesn’t have to exhaust me to seem worthy of having been lived.” joyce carol oates
Let there be light!
by leigh macmillen hayes • photographs by ethan mcnerney
With an X-Acto knife, Carol carefully cuts thin lines around flower petals, leaf edges, and birds’ wings allowing light to shine through as well as providing texture when the light is off. “It’s experience—knowing what to cut,” says Carol. “You just learn what is attractive and what highlights the shade. You can’t cut too much—that can weaken the shade. Where to sculpt is also experience. It’s trial and error.”
woman walked into The Lamp & Shade Shop on Main Street in Bridgton recently because she was looking for three sconces. She knew what she wanted and had a feeling that the Honabergers could help her. After asking a few questions, Carol said, “So, you’re looking for vintage.” The customer responded, “I am.” “Do you really want vintage, or do you want it to look like vintage?” asked Carol. “I prefer to have old school. I know sometimes you have those things come in here. That’s why I came by,” answered the customer. “I should probably tell you who I am. I’ve done business with you before.” “Didn’t Dale do a lot of table lamps for you? All at one time?” asked Carol. “Yeah, I want to say like 12 or 15,” said the woman. “Yes, I remember you. You like old lamps,” said Carol. “And you live in the Midwest.” “Yeah, I live in Wisconsin,” was the answer. “See, I do remember you,” said Carol. “You coveted two of my lamps,” said the woman. “That happens a lot,” said Carol. “They had that red cut glass. They are gorgeous,” said the woman. “That’s Czechoslovakian glass,” said Carol. “They were your husband’s favorite.” “They are beautiful,” said the woman. “So . . . maybe in my will . . .” The woman never did give them her name before she picked up their business card and departed. That’s how it is at The Lamp & Shade Shop. They may not remember your name, but
they can tell you about your lamp. Twenty-five years ago Carol and Dale Honaberger purchased the antique business and home at 209 Main Street. Before long, Carol discovered her love for lamps. She’d bring them home from auctions and suggest that Dale fix them. That passion changed the course of their antique business. Enter and you may feel as if you’ve stepped back in time—well, any time since Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. Oh, they do have a few oil lamps dating to the late 1800s, but most of what will catch your eye range from antique brass and bronze lamps to vintage sconces and custom-made lampshades. Initially, they found people were reluctant to purchase the lamps because they had difficulty finding shades to fit. So Carol taught herself how to make shades and as they say . . . the rest is history. Hand cut arc-shaped lampshade patterns hang on the wall amidst frames, wires, harps, fabrics, ribbons, velvets, brocades and braids in Carol’s workshop. It’s obvious Carol loves to help a customer choose a shade that will reflect his or her own interests and sense of design, thus transforming a room. The lamp comes first, before determining the size and shape of the shade, as well as the material to be used. Materials vary from paper to an antique paisley shawl, coverlet or bedspread and homespun fabrics. Though the pattern and texture may be indiscernible at first, turn on the light and the design shows through. Fringe or other embellishments finish off the shade. When asked how she attaches the shade to the wires, Carol chuckles and says, “The first thousand are the hardest.” Actually, she uses a double-sided 3M Adhesive tape to attach the top and bottom to wires. The ends are glued together. For a finishing touch, any trim or fringe is also attached with glue. On a large workshop table sit shades in various stages of completeness, from a form cut to fit the largest wires she has, to those that need to have the finishing touches added. Clothes pins clipped to the bottom of the shades serve as stands to hold the them up off the table, thus preventing damage before they are completed. Under the table, Carol keeps a handy test lamp—ready to shine whenever necessary. She also works closely with artist Stephanie Snell of Naples. With watercolors, Stephanie exquisitely paints chickadees, loons, flowers, blueberries, moose and other outdoor scenes onto flat shade forms Carol has cut out for her. Watercolor adds instant beauty, catching the eye long before the lamp is lit. With an X-Acto knife, Carol carefully cuts thin lines around flower petals, leaf edges, and birds’ wings allowing light to shine through as well as providing texture when the light is off. “It’s experience—knowing what to cut,” says Carol. “You just learn what is attractive and what highlights the shade. You can’t cut too much—that can weaken the shade. Where to sculpt is also experience. It’s trial and error.” A cut lampshade is an artistic creation. It is made entirely by hand, and no two are exactly alike. After she is satisfied that she has done enough cutting and finger sculpting, Carol lines the inside of the shade with a tissue-like paper, which softens the light. lakelivingmaine.com
She helps clients select shade designs and lamps that go well together. Some customers have their own ideas. Dale, with pride evident in his soft-spoken voice, shares a story about a woman who brought in a photograph of her house. This customer had seen the pastoral scenes Stephanie had painted for Carol to cut and sculpt and wanted something similar on her shade. From the photograph, Stephanie painted the woman’s house, but in place of the two houses that actually set on either side of it, she added stonewalls and trees. As he describes another scene the two women created on a shade, his eyes twinkle. The watercolor was of a winter scene, including a log cabin and footprints in the snow. Carol cut the door and window of the cabin and sculpted them just enough to let the light shine through. “It was really beautiful,” says Dale. Dale’s talent lies in rewiring and restoring the lamps they find at shops and sales throughout New England. “We get them in not too good a condition,” he says. “I rewire everything and make sure it has whatever it needs to put it back in excellent condition. Even if we get a lamp in good condition, I still rewire it.” He’ll meticulously rewire, repair, refinish, polish and restore your lamp and lighting fixtures. Visualizing what the lamp looked like many, many years ago when it was new helps Dale decide what to do for restoration. Rather than taking an old lamp and making it look like a brand new one, he strives to refurbish it to look like it did in the 1920s or ‘30s when it was made. Sometimes this requires having it sandblasted to remove old finish or rust, taking it down to the bare metal and then priming and painting it. Dale restores and repairs lamps that he and Carol purchase and resell in their shop, as well as those customers bring him. In his workshop space, all the essential tools and accessories, such as screws, insulators, sockets, chains and wire are stored in bins, buckets and recycled oatmeal containers. Each is labelled, making access easy—especially when confronted with a frustrating fix. With a few grunts and lots of elbow grease, Dale is ready to perform his expert restorations and repairs on all types of lighting fixtures. And that’s not all. Dale also creates custom lamps based on his own ideas and customers’ requests. From a Civil War wheel hub or plumbing fittings to a favorite china plate or vase, Dale
Visualizing what the lamp looked like many, many years ago when it was new helps Dale decide what to do for restoration. Rather than taking an old lamp and making it look like a brand new one, he strives to refurbish it to look like it did in the 1920s or ‘30s when it was made.
can make a lamp to suit your whimsy. The Lamp & Shade Shop is located in the attached barn and a room in their home. Open year round, you might find bridge lamps, standing lamps, torchiere lamps, candlestand lamps, three plus one lamps and vintage kerosene lamps. Their bases include ginger jars, tea tins, bakelite, glass, crystal, wood, crocks, cast iron, wrought iron—many in the spirit of creative reuse. The lamps range from very plain to quite fancy. The shop also features an array of custom lampshades in many different textures and colors. This shop is for people who want more than what’s in the catalogs or standard fare. They want classic fixtures to light up their homes that they’re not going to see
everywhere. Adding to the uniqueness is the friendly, personal service from Carol and Dale—who will help you select shade designs and lamps that go well together. In this modern age of mass production, their antique and vintage lamps and custom lampshades take us back to a time when decorative items were manufactured by master craftsmen. Carol and Dale Honaberger are just such craftspeople. They like the work and they like dealing with old lamps. “They’re quality,” says Dale. “You pick up an old lamp and it’s heavy—heavy duty, heavy gauge. It’s hard to find new lamps like that.” R You can find The Lamp & Shade Shop at 209 Main Street in Bridgton, or reach them by phone at 207.647.5576.
Walk This Way by nick nataluk with laurie lamountain
guests to the door where you wish to receive them. You may want to add an array of color schemes and textures to brighten the path. Using various plants in alternating patterns of bloom time makes a walkway that is always fresh and new to anyone strolling through. Not only do plants lend a visual element to the walkway that is welcoming, but their fragrance invites one to slow down a bit There’s an intuitive aspect and savor the natural environto designing a walkway that ment. shouldn’t be ignored. Once When designing a walkway
you feel you’ve hit on the for your home that is inviting for you as well as your guests, right layout, mark the edges there are many characteristics and live with it for a few you should consider and a seemdays to see how it works. ingly endless range of products from which to choose. Many landscaping products today are chosen for color, size, and durability, but there’s really no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing materials that will complement the architecture of your home. That said, whether your home is contemporary or traditional, large or small, New England farmhouse or craftsman-style cottage, should be taken into consideration. The products used to build the walkway should, to some extent, mimic the architectural integrity of your home, including color, shape, size, roof line, architectural style, etc. Larger, traditional homes tend to lend themselves to a more formal approach, while smaller, cottage-style bungalows might favor an informal, meandering walkway. To create the right design you may also want to consider your natural surroundings. If yours is an older, traditional home or reproduction period home, you may want to use plants that were popular and products that would have been accessible to the owners at that time. Weathered stones sitting in nearby woods could be incorporated. If your house sits in the middle of a pine grove, you should choose plantings that will fare well in the conditions the existing landscape dictates, i.e. sandy, acidic soil and shade.
design & Layout
Curving brick walkway by Fieldstone Landscaping
he trend of late has been to build homes farther and farther away from the road, and often a fire lane sign beside an opening is the only indication of a house beyond. In a sense, the moment you turn into that opening, you’re entering the home. Whether it’s inviting or not depends a great deal on the landscaping leading up to and around it. Your guests are most likely to approach your house from their parked vehicle. A well-designed front walkway should be easily accessible and planned to naturally lead them to the entry. It should make your home feel warm and inviting. In the case where there is more than one door to choose from, a well-defined entry is even more important. A front walkway both determines the flow of traffic and provides a first impression. Shrubs, flowers, herbs, and even vegetables and accent lighting bordering the walkway should serve to lead your
Once you have a fairly clear idea of what you want from a walkway, the next step is laying it out. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can practice with a garden hose or with garden stakes and tape. At this phase of your planning, it’s not a bad idea to enlist a professional landscaper if you haven’t already. They will not only help you determine what materials to use, but will factor in aesthetics, climate considerations, and use. If, for example, it’s a high traffic
Random pattern antiqued concrete pavers by Clement Bros. Lawn & Landscape, Inc.
Brick walkway with granite steps by Fieldstone Landscaping
walkway, you’ll want to make it wide enough to accommodate two or more people walking side by side. For a dramatic improvement to a straight path, you might consider one that curves. Curves provide an element of interest and a walkway that disappears behind a hedge or outcropping, if only for an instant, can lend an element of intrigue. Another important consideration, especially here in the Northeast, is how the walkway will fare in snow and icy winter conditions. How will it be affected by snow shedding from a roof or overhang? Will the surface be slippery? This is especially important if there are stairs involved. Try more than one layout and see which feels best. There’s an intuitive aspect to designing a walkway that shouldn’t be ignored. Once you feel you’ve hit on the right layout, mark the edges and live with it for a few days to see how it works.
Antique granite treads with bluestone walkway by Clement Bros. Lawn & Landscape, Inc.
materials Now that you’ve settled on the layout of your walkway, you’ll want to carefully consider which materials to use in its construction. An imperative factor to keep in mind when choosing the best surface material is exactly how it will function. Is this a primary or secondary walkway? What colors and textures are you looking for? Which materials will best complement the design of the walkway? A professional can suggest options and help you choose materials that best suit your needs, tastes and budget. Materials commonly used in creating walkways include natural stone, concrete, brick, crushed stone and wood. Natural stone products include bluestone, slate, and granite. Bluestone is readily available in large irregular pieces or in uniform square-edged sizes, such as 2’ x 2’ or 1’ x 3’. There are several types of granite and slate flagstone to choose from as well. Bricks can be reclaimed from elsewhere and re-laid for a traditional look, or there are many new ones to choose from that look both old and new.
Concrete pavers tend to be the least expensive surface material, and they come in a range of different sizes, colors, textures and patterns, including pavers that mimic brickwork and others that can be used to create circular designs. Crushed stone and wood can be used together by creating wooden borders and infilling with crushed stone. Either 3/8” or 3/4” stone is preferable because the smaller stone is easier to walk on. It’s best to visit a landscape supply store and compare actual sizes before you buy. Now that your friends and family have walked down this inviting and calming path, they are ready to enter your home in a more relaxed and joyous state. They already have a feeling of peace that you created during their simple walk from the vehicle to your doorway. R Nick Nataluk has been a professional landscaper for seventeen years, and has a degree in horiculture from the University of Maine at Orono. He is owner of Fieldstone Landscaping in Lovell, Maine.
Over the past three decades we have grown our basic lawn care services to include landscape design, installation and maintenance, with a commitment to organic practices. As antique granite specialists and suppliers with a very creative crew, we can construct anything you can imagine using natural stone, brick or concrete. Year round services include snow removal and routine property inspection of your camp or home while you are away. Peace of Mind e-mail notifications included in all our inspections. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on the Web at www. clementbros.com. Creating a better environment . . . one yard at a time. Locally-owned and family-operated in Naples, Maine, since 1977. Members of the Professional Landcare Network, Maine Landscape & Nursery Assoc. and Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute
Lovell Life in Miniature
You never know what surprises await when you stop at a “Honey for Sale” sign on the back roads of Maine. Susan and Dana Gregson of Lovell do indeed sell delicious honey made from their own hives, but the unique enterprise that has occupied most of their time since 1994 is creating fine, miniature accessories for doll houses. by joyce white
In the manner of many unique, home-based
this couple did not
originally set out to
hese aren’t doll houses for little people to play with, though. Rather, the heirloom quality accessories this couple makes are authentic replicas for adult hobbyists and collectors. They don’t have a salesroom as such, but sell their creations to doll house miniature shops through their catalogs, Web site, trade shows and by word-of-mouth. In the manner of many unique, home-based Maine businesses, this couple did not originally set out to fabricate miniatures. Rather, Dana, an engineer by trade, had worked as a production engineer at Stowell Wood Products in Bryant Pond, a wood turning plant no longer in business, and Susan had worked in the field of mental health. But then this opportunity presented itself. “Dana had a small machine shop in our basement,” Sue says, “when an existing company that had moved to Lovell, called Clare-Bell Brass Works, approached him to make parts for them.” The wife of the original owner, Norman Nelson, was named Clare and had a fondness for miniatures. Norman designed, manufactured and distributed the original Clare-Bell Brass Works miniatures as a supplemental business to the family’s main business, Nelson Tool and Machine, and he was one of the first to electrify miniatures. Dana took on the job and turned brass parts for them for five years, until Norman made the decision to either sell or close the business. Dana was sure he could make the company work and set out to buy it. Sue was reluctant to get involved in the new venture, given that she was raising two children, working and going to school. Still, by the time everything was in place for the sale, it was obvious that Dana would need help so she agreed to work with him for three months and if she hated it, then he’d have to hire someone. “But here I am eighteen years later,” she says with a big smile. Aside from an area at the entrance where honey is stocked for sale, the entire Gregson basement is devoted to Clare-Bell production and is a maze of machines for fabricating
parts. Display panels Dana built for the trade shows they attend once or twice a year showcase a variety of authentically scale-sized lights—elaborate candelabras, floor lamps, table lamps, bedside lights—all aglow. Their intricate and delicate wiring is hidden. One display panel holds a variety of flickering lights, replicas of burning candles. “All the bulbs are replaceable,” Sue says, as she demonstrates replacing a tiny bulb and points out the impossibly fine wires that make the light possible. “We’re moving into using LED lights when feasible,” Dana adds, “but we’ll continue to use incandescent lights and replacement bulbs.” Dana offers classes at the trade shows they attend to teach shop owners about electrical wiring for miniatures and how to replace those tiny bulbs. Miniatures use low voltage, up to 12 volts, instead of normal household current. In addition to lights, the Gregsons manufacture a variety of other miniature items—mortars and pestles, hourglasses, weathervanes, mirrors, fireplace tool sets including brushes with real horsehair, bud vases, bells and brass bed frames. “The original style is Williamsburg,” notes Sue, “though Dana and I have added several of our own creations since we began. Often a new creation is the result of a customer request. Any new product involves a tremendous amount of time, engineering and money, so we have to think it will be worthwhile in order to take it on. Some products have been very successful, some have not.” “We start,” explains Dana, “with a
twelve-foot-long brass bar of the size required for the project. Most products are turned to proper configuration—the right shape—to make the part on an automatic screw machine. When we set up, we make between 5,000 and 10,000 of a particular part as a normal run.” Machinery includes a conventional, as well as a Swiss-style, screw machine, plus all the related equipment—drill presses, milling machines, lathe presses, and grinders. They also have a huge kick press that is controlled with foot pressure. “We machine the solid brass parts, polish them and send them to Massachusetts to be gold-plated so they won’t tarnish. Then we assemble them,” Dana says. They use bright lights and a magnifier to help with this and a variety of small machines to hold items while they are being assembled. All those tiny parts are then stored in labeled boxes on tidy shelves in the entrance workroom. The Gregsons maintain an efficient filing system for parts and an impressive manual with directions for assembling all the miniatures. “We might not make a particular item for a few months,” Sue explains, “and it’s easy to forget the details of how all
the parts fit together in what order.” Being able to flip to the directions saves time and frustration in a process that involves multiple steps. Dana notes that their positions in the company are delineated. “I do the product development, production engineering, machining and tooling. Susan does the majority of assembly, all the packaging and customer service.” They publish their own catalog using Grassroots Graphics. “We do a small run of catalogs,” Sue says, “so we can keep them current and we manage our own Web site. When a customer calls, they get to talk with a real person. I return all phone calls if I’ve missed taking the call in person. I’ve had people thank me for returning a phone call and I’ve even had people thank me for being pleasant!” “At Clare-Bell we make it ourselves, American-made, solid brass. It’s all about quality,” Sue says. “Our products are repairable, not throwaways, unlike many imports. They’re heirloom quality, made to last.” R Clare-Bell Brass Works is located at 219 Slab City Road in Lovell, Maine. They can be reached by phone at 207.928.3902 or found on the Web at www.clarebell.com.
of the Lakes Region
hen you think of antiquing in Maine, the lakes region of southwestern Maine may not come immediately to mind, but you may want to reconsider. Fact is, there are numerous antique shops and dealers throughout this area, and prices are usually much lower than you’ll find along the coast. Everything from signed Stickleys to ‘50s memorabilia can be found here—often side by side. For the antique hounds among you, we’ve assembled a survey of shops and stores in our area, beginning in the town of Bridgton and working our way over to Cornish. Happy hunting!
hidden brook antiques 184 North High Street, Bridgton, 207.647.5241 www.hiddenbrookantiques.com $-$$$, seasonal
In a circa 1859 barn and one room in the house of a former dairy farm, Dorothy Brutman opened Hidden Brook Antiques twenty-two years ago. The property spoke “Antique Shop” to her when she saw it on a visit from New York. You’ll find a little of everything from furniture, glassware and dishes, shutters and windows to barn items, primitives and garden antiques. Dorothy likes to find unusual items, e.g. a corn shucker, Chinese bound shoes and a Korean Hibachi cabinet. She also features some new items including chandeliers and in the spring, perennials. Dorothy has established a reputation for quality antiques at reasonable prices.
harry barker’s emporium
142 Main Street, Bridgton, 207.647.4500 $-$$$, year-round
In October 2010, Bonnie Rolfe opened Harry Barker’s Emporium to benefit Harvest Hills Animal Shelter. Twelve vendors rent space to offer an eclectic variety of unique and interesting antiques, furnishings and other home embellishments. With styles ranging from Adirondack to Shabby Chic, the vendors tastefully show their goods. They’re always on the hunt to find new treasures and keep the emporium looking fresh. Art, books, glassware, linens, primitives and collectibles are all priced to fit your creative eye and budget. For those who prefer their vintage wearable, be sure to check out the clothing and costume jewelry. Items of all shapes and
sizes are beautifully and lovingly displayed showing them in all their former glory. At one time or another, most of us have rummaged through our parents’ attic, fascinated by all the great stuff. A visit to Harry Barker’s is almost like being back home, searching the attic for “treasures.” You’re bound to find something you didn’t know you couldn’t live without. The building itself, is an antique, which enhances the look of the items displayed. Don’t miss the tin ceiling as you browse.
harry barker’s too
Main Street, Bridgton, 207.647.4500 $-$$$, year-round
One store was not enough to contain all of the fine antiques and collectibles so Bonnie Rolfe opened a second shop. Nestled into a space half the size of Harry Barker’s Emporium and only four doors away is Harry Barker’s Too. Eight vendors specialize in antique collectibles that would satisfy the most eccentric of shoppers. Packed full of all kinds of wonderful items from years gone by such as an antique fencing set including two Castello helmets and two French rapiers, vintage items often seen in movies, this store will not fail to impress. You won’t be able to get through the store without finding something that suddenly and powerfully transports you to another place and time. Maybe it’s the metal doll house similar to the one you had as a child or the violin and bow in their original case. Sure, you can’t go home again, but a visit to HB Too is the next best thing . . . and it’s much cheaper than therapy.
191 Main Street, Bridgton, 207.647.4321 $$-$$$$, year-round
Topnotch is tucked into the front of the mid-1800s post and beam barn, where Craig Jud repairs and restores antiques and handcrafts new quality custom furniture reproductions. Whether he’s restoring your grandmother’s hope chest, carving an antique reproduction mirror frame or replicating an English pipebox, Craig enjoys a challenge and the bigger the challenge, the better. If you bring in an antique for him to fix and he likes it, he might even recreate one for himself.
In the spirit of preserving the art of traditional woodworking, Craig uses time-honored hand tools and techniques to skillfully restore a full range of antique pieces and family heirlooms. He likes to “take out the abuse and leave the use” so the furniture still looks lovingly used, but your dog’s teeth marks are no longer obvious. Craig also specializes in creating reproduction furniture customized to your exact design specifications. And he’ll modify any existing piece in your collection to meet your needs. If you show him a photo or drawing, he’ll work with you to build a one-of-a-kind product.
antique revival annex 186 Main Street, Bridgton, 207.253.9461 $$-$$$$, year-round
In the antique business for forty years, L. Richard Auclair, purveyor of fine antiques and art, recently opened his second shop in the lakes region. 186 Main Street is now home to Antiques Revival Annex. Twenty-five years ago Richard started Antique Revival in Naples. This spring, he expanded the business into this intimate and cozy space in Bridgton. Here he offers furniture, art, collectibles, loads of costume jewelry, vintage clothing, mirrors, books, dolls and so much more. You might find a turn of the century (as in 19th-20th century) Victorian chaise lounge to grace your living room. Or perhaps you’d love an 18601870 cherry drop leaf table or an empire sofa. Richard’s eclectic collection and friendly demeanor will keep you returning to see what he’s added. He especially enjoys making time to deal with the young children who come in and say, “I’m a picker. Can we negotiate?” Richard is quick to say that all prices are negotiable, not etched in stone.
679 Roosevelt Trail, Naples, 207.693.6550 www.antiquerevival.net $-$$$$, year-round
Just down the road a piece is the Antique Revival in Naples. Antique Revival is like several
estate sales all in one place– you’re as likely to find a set of flatware as a sofa, and pretty much everything in between (and in several different styles, which is just the point). Owner A. Richard Auclair likes to offer customers interesting, wellpreserved items in a wide variety, any style and price range. Browse thru the large selection of antique furniture, vintage lighting, wall mirrors, paintings and prints, military items, vintage toys, comics, books, sports cards, oriental rugs, sterling silver, gold, and decorative accessories. Whether you’re simply shopping about for any old thing that catches your eye or searching in earnest for something specific and rare, you’ll find it here.
cornish trading company 19 Main Street, Cornish, 207.625.8387 cornishtrading.com $-$$$$, seasonal
Located in a former Masonic Hall, which has a rich history in and of itself, Cornish Trading
Company showcases the wares of over 40 antique dealers from New England and beyond. Prepare to spend some time in this rambling, three-story building that offers 3,000+ square feet of space for everything from early Americana to mid-century modern. The first floor is a labyrinth of booths featuring costume jewelry, textiles, painted country furniture, camp & cottage, oriental rugs, industrial, architectural, decorative and garden items. The second and third floors display larger items and much more furniture, and it’s here that you’ll discover owners Michael and Lisa Fulginiti’s eye for the eclectic. Their knack for mixing things up—using a range of different styles and decor ideas—could easily have sprung from the pages of Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, or Traditional Living. And it’s not just we who think so . . . Yankee Magazine proclaimed them “Best Fun-Tiquing” among their “2011 Best of Maine” picks.
the smith co.
24 Main Street, Cornish, 207.625.6030 $-$$$$, year-round If antique advertising and country store collectibles are your thing, you don’t want to miss The Smith Co., located across the street from Cornish Trading Company. Owner Steve Smith has amassed a truly impressive collection in his more than thirty years as a “picker.” What started out as
a hobby led to him buying the former auto dealership-turnedfeed store in the late ‘90s, completely gutting the store and then filling it to the gills with antiques. Wend your way through the aisles and you’ll find store signs, promotional displays, stamped wooden boxes, camp and cottage stuff, fishing gear, antique tools, and countless other items you haven’t seen in donkey’s years. The Smith Co. is open yearround.
cottage charm antiques and collectables 22 Main Street, Bridgton
corn shop trading company
179 Main Street, Bridgton 207.647.9090
lisa b’s summerplace
268 Main Street, Bridgton www.lisabsummerplace.com
wee 3 antiques
Route 117 by intersection with Route 302, Bridgton 207.647.2102
flowerbed farm antiques 428 Main Street, Bridgton 207.647.8433
carriage house antiques 1791 Roosevelt Trail, Naples 207.693.4844
ravenstone antiques and artisans
4 Denmark Road (Junction Route 302), East Fryeburg 207.461.9091
lily’s fine flowers & antiques Main Street, Cornish 207.625.2366
plain & fancy
Main Street, Cornish lakelivingmaine.com
herbal eats H
by laurie lamountain
erbs are the harbingers of spring, with slender, grass-like chives being one of the first to bravely push through the soil in search of sun. For culinary purposes, herbs are defined as the leaf and tender stem of a plant that’s primarily used to flavor food, though their medicinal properties should not be overlooked. The spring herbs used in these recipes serve a dual purpose. Their fragrance, color and flavor can awaken the palate, turning the simplest dish into a culinary delight, while their cleansing properties make them a perfect accompaniment to lighter spring fare.
• When cutting herbs use a sharp knife or scissors to avoid bruising. You can also tear herbs—the leaves will rip along the veins and release more flavor during cooking. • For optimum color and flavor, delicate spring herbs should be added at the end of cooking. • When storing fresh herbs, wash and dry thoroughly, then pick the leaves and keep in an airtight container in the fridge. This way, the herbs are ready to go when needed and occupy less fridge space. • Some herbs, such as parsley and tarragon, can be dried to preserve them. Hang small bunches of herbs upside down in a warm, dry, well-ventilated place, or in a paper bag with ventilation holes in the sides. Chopped chives can be preserved simply by freezing them. Chervil and dill are best used fresh, as they lose flavor when dried.
baked salmon with dill
Serves 4 1-1/2 pound salmon fillet juice of one lemon 1/4 c finely chopped dill 1/4 c olive oil Preheat oven to 350˚. Place salmon fillet skin side down in a baking dish. Combine lemon juice with olive oil and pour over the salmon, making sure that some of the mixture is allowed to seep under the fillet. Tent loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 9 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle fillet with all of the dill and return to the oven for an additional 9 minutes. Salmon should separate easily with a fork when done. Remove from the oven, tent with foil and let sit for 3 or 4 minutes before serving. Reserve pan liquids for serving. Garnish with lemon slices and a few sprigs of dill.
Serves 6 3 whole boneless chicken breasts, halved salt and freshly ground pepper 1/4 c flour 1/4 c butter 1 tbsp shallots, chopped 1/4 c dry white wine 1 tsp freshly chopped French tarragon 1/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c heavy cream Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and dredge with flour. Reserve remaining flour. In a large skillet heat three tbsp of the butter, add chicken and brown on both sides. Transfer to a heated platter. Add shallots to the pan and saute briefly. Add the wine and cook over high heat until it is nearly evaporated and the pan is deglazed. Add the reserved flour and stir to make a thick paste. Sprinkle with the tarragon and stir in the chicken broth. Return the chicken to the pan, cover and cook over low heat until tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a heated platter and keep warm. Add the remaining butter and the cream to the pan and heat through while stirring. Pour the sauce over the chicken just before serving.
tomato basil soup
Serves 4 as a starter; 2 as a main course 2 tbsp olive oil 3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped 32-ounce jar whole tomatoes 4 c chicken or vegetable stock 1/2 c chopped basil Heat oil over medium-high heat and add garlic, cooking just until fragrant, about one minute. Add tomatoes, crushing with a potato masher or slotted spoon.
Continue to cook, stirring often, until the liquid has reduced and tomatoes have thickened slightly, about 12 minutes. Add stock and bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Add chopped basil during the last 15 minutes of simmering. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and garnish with whole basil leaves and a dollop of plain yogurt. Serve with hot garlic bread on the side.
pasta with herbs
Serves 4 1/2 pound dried pasta, such as penne or fusilli 1/2 c roughly chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, chervil, tarragon, dill, and basil 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice Coarse salt 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper 1/2 c (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. Drain pasta, then toss with mixed herbs, oil, lemon zest and juice, 1/4 tsp salt, the pepper, and 1/4 c Parmesan in a large serving bowl. Serve with remaining 1/4 c cheese and hot garlic bread on the side.
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