Kennebunk @ @Work Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 1
January 2018

Happy New Year!

"R" you ready for 2018?

           With the new year comes a sense of “Renewals, Resolutions and Revivals.” The Economic Development Committee continues to seek ways to help Kennebunk become a more attractive place for businesses to open and expand. We are very fortunate to have many favorable qualities to offer as a “Business Friendly” community.
            In this issue of Kennebunk@Work, Robert Georgitis, the EDC Chairman, starts with s a brief overview of committee activities, and we continue to highlight historic, current and future economic trends in the town’s economy.

            Historic – Steve Spofford, the town’s historian, recalls the visit by French Marquis Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette to Kennebunk in 1824 as part of his national triumphant tour of the country.
            Leanne Hayden, of the Brick Store Museum, writes about how fire buckets became a measure of civic pride in response to fight local fires – and the consequences if the owner didn’t take part.

            Current –  Rick Darci, a retired business owner, describes growth and development along Route 1, North.
            Tom Wellman, former selectman and owner of R&E Associates, celebrates the commerce along Route 1 South that makes a vital contribution to Kennebunk.

            Future – Let’s welcome and support the new businesses owners who have started or continued business since our last newsletter.
            We hope our quarterly “Kennebunk@Work” Newsletter helps provide a brief overview of economic activities in Kennebunk.   

             Steve Hrehovcik, Editor 

EDC Chair, Robert Georgitis

A New Look at a New Year

Since our last newsletter we welcomed the opening of a new anchor in Kennebunk’s downtown, Garden Street Bowl. It has been a long 7 years since our former Town Manager Barry Tibbetts and I met with Hannaford executives to work together to shorten the time that Garden Street Market (which they leased but did not own) would remain vacant. Economic redevelopment of properties is sometimes an arduous and time-consuming task. But we are excited to see what the Bowl will do along with the Waterhouse Center returning the vibrancy to our downtown’s Main Street. Our EDC committee also continues to look at pathways to make a seasonal Amtrak stop happen just a stone's throw away from our downtown to add to our recent successes. Stay tuned.

            Robert Georgitis, Economic Development Committee Chairman

Historic Milestones

Lafayette Visits Kennebunk In 1825 As Part of Grand US Tour

Image of the Marquis Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette
Image of the Marquis Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette

            In 1824 the French Marquis Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette, the last remaining General and celebrated hero from the American Revolution, was invited to be the Nations Guest by President James Monroe and The US Congress. His tour lasted 13 months during 1824 and 1825. He visited all 24 States of the Union and was welcomed and widely celebrated. He traveled with his son George Washington Lafayette and personal secretary Gen. Auguste Levasseur.
            On June 25, 1825, the Lafayette entourage visited Kennebunk because of his great respect for his good friend, the late Col. Joseph Storer of Kennebunk. When the Lafayette carriage arrived at Tavern Hill, cannons were shot off and the bell of the 1st Parish Church tolled. Lafayette was the honored guest at a luncheon and ended by meeting all the leading gentlemen of the Town,
            At the Storer Mansion on Storer street, Mrs. Pricilla Storer, the daughter-in-law of the late Col. Storer, had spread a beautiful table in her garden under the then very young elm tree. Under the shade of the tree, General Lafayette was introduced to the ladies of Kennebunk.
            General Lafayette was only in our town for a total of 6 hours. Kennebunk would long remember the great honor of his visit - especially the ladies, who held sacred the Storer’s Elm Tree where they met the Nation’s Guest. This Elm Tree would grow to be one of the most beautiful in the state. In the early 20th century it was placed as the centerpiece of the official Town Seal. The Lafayette Elm was lost to Dutch Elm decease in the early 1970s. Lafayette’s visit is remembered to this today in Kennebunk with our Seal.
            Contributed by: Steve Spofford, Town Historian   

The Lafayette Elm in Lafayette Park on Storer Street years before it was lost to Dutch Elm decease in the early 1970s
The Lafayette Elm in Lafayette Park on Storer Street years before it was lost to
Dutch Elm decease in the early 1970s

Fire Bucket From the Collection of The Brick Store Museum

A “Hot” Way To Collect
Some Extra Taxes 

         Pictured is one of two leather fire buckets in existence that belonged to William Lord.  It is dated 1821, four years before he built the Brick Store. Members of the local fire society were required to own at least two buckets marked with their names. Generally, the townspeople had a fire bucket for each fireplace in their home. They were expected to bring them to a scene of a fire in order to form a bucket brigade to help control the blaze. Throwing water on a fire one bucket at a time wasn’t a very effective way of saving one particular house. But it could buy the occupants enough time to salvage some belongings and prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings.
            Bucket lines composed of men, women, and even children would snake to the nearest water source, with many hands passing full buckets down the line and empty ones back to be refilled. Once the fire was extinguished, these buckets would be brought to common area, like the Town Hall. Any person that had not participated in putting out the fire could be fined by the fire warden for the absence of their fire bucket. 
            Contributed by: Leanne Hayden, Collections Manager, Brick Store Museum,
            117 Main Street, 207-985-4802

Current Successes

Route 1 North

Kennebunk’s Economic Giant On Route 1 North

If you could journey back in time just a few decades, your travel down Portland Road would reveal a sleepy area of farms, warehouses and some businesses. Today, Route 1 North has become the engine that powers much of Kennebunk’s economic growth.
More than 80 businesses provide residents with valuable services. Take the short ride from the Town Hall to Arundel and you’ll find banks, restaurants, grocers, medical facilities, professional services and more.
Four strategic initiatives made this possible. The creation of the rear access road (behind Shopper’s Village) aided the development of Quest and the medical facility; the relocation of the Post Office; the Moulton Field sale to Stop & Shop (now Hannaford); and the sale of Mariano’s dealership ushered in CVS, Kennebunk Savings and others followed.
There remains room for growth. The challenge is to make the area pedestrian friendly, interconnected to the downtown, while creating an architecturally pleasing look. Strong leadership will be necessary so that Kennebunk can maintain its small town charm while continuing to fuel is vibrant economic growth.
            Contributed by: Rick Dacri, retired business owner and Kennebunk resident
Route 1 South

Important Developments on
Route 1 South

Kennebunk’s southern Route 1 has changed a lot and is finally reaching its potential as an important business center in Kennebunk. The most recent development is the expansion of the Nelson Water Testing facility which is under construction now. The new Blue Rock building was also a nice addition to the area that is fast becoming the center of home improvements. In addition to lumber yards, upholstery, water testing, property management, the area also has restaurants, car repairs and the best meat shop in Kennebunk. 
            This piece of Kennebunk has been changing over the past couple of years with the help of public and private money and is now a great spot to visit for many of your needs. So instead of speeding through this area, the next time you are heading south look at all the new and old businesses that are located here and stop in a see what they have to offer. It is amazing what you can find without leaving town. Shop Kennebunk!!
            Contributed by: Tom Wellman, former Selectman and Owner of R&E Associates, Inc. Property Management, 107 York Street, (Route 1 South), (207) 985-9740.

Future Opportunities

A warm welcome to new business activities…

Kennebunk became a “Certified Business Friendly Community” from Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development in 2013. The town continues to welcome new businesses and help existing businesses provide valued services and products to our residents and visitors.

We are pleased to welcome the following businesses that have opened in Kennebunk since our last August 2017 Newsletter.
Deborah C. Johnson – Finance and Taxes: 52 Alfred Road, Owner: Deborah C. Johnson
Cotton’s Nursery – Wholesale Nursery: 40 Remington Way, Owner: Paul B Cotton
Feodora Stancioff Design – Consulting/Design: 60 Storer Street,
Owner: Feodora Stancioff
Garden Street Bowl, Inc. – Bowling Alley/Restaurant: 11 Garden Street,
Owners: Daniel Hardy, Jacob Peterson, John Nelson
Knitbot – Small Publishing Company: 261 Cole Road, Owner: Hannah Fettig
Lucky Star Restaurant – Chinese Restaurant: 45 Portland Road, Suite 3A,
Owner: David Ma
Mainely Quilt Gift Shop – Retail and Maine Made Gifts: 108 Summer Street,
Owner: Hanah Pevny
New England EcoAdventures – Scenic Boat Cruises/Retail: 8 Western Avenue,
Owner: Matthew Reid
Newman Communications – Public Relations Agency: 13 Annie’s Way,
Owner: Robert K. Newman
Properly Posh Pets, LLC – Pet Party Products: 178 Sea Road, Owner: Susan Rogers
Rite Aid #03309 – Retail Pharmacy and Sundries: 37 Portland Road, Owner: KMR, LLC
Seacoast Physical Therapy Limited Partnership – Outpatient Physical/Occupational Therapy Clinic: 2 Storer Street, Suite 108, Owner, Jeffrey Lebel
Seaglass Consulting Services – Consulting: 113 Summer Street,
Owner, Amanda Batson
Soul Thankful Artisan Jewelry – Artist Studio: 2 Morning Walk Lane,
Owner: Jana O’Connor
Waldo Emerson Inn – Bed and Breakfast: 108 Summer Street, Owner: Hana Pevny
Write, Already! – General Editorial/Copyediting: 15 Arioch Way, Owner: Deana Coddaire

          Information supplied by: Town Clerk's office

Town Hall Goose buried in snow

Braving the elements throughout the year, say “Hello” to the Kennebunk Goose. The ever-present Goose has become a constant greeter to visitors to the Town Hall. It is a resilient mascot of the town’s staff, who decorate it in the theme of the season, such as a Patriotic dress for the Fourth of July, Pilgrim’s hat for Thanksgiving and witch’s cape on Halloween. It has no political agenda, just an informal presence designed to bring a smile and happy thoughts.
As the picture dramatizes – “Goose Bumps!”   

The EDC meets the first Thursday of each month at 5 PM in the Town Hall. We take a summer break in July. Meetings are open to the public and we welcome your participation. Let us know your concerns and suggestions to help make Kennebunk a great place to live, raise family and do business.   

Kennebunk @ Work

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