Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Soon we were crossing the Kennebec River and heading for Windsor and Hussey’s General Store. Windsor is a small crossroads hamlet at the junction of State Highways 105 and 32, in the township of the same name and about a dozen miles east of Augusta. It is on the way to nowhere in particular unless you are on your way to Windsor which has hosted an agricultural fair since 1888. Otherwise, this is rural farmland and rolling, forested hills through which the languid West Branch of the Sheepscot River flows on its way to the main stem of the river a few miles south of here. Certainly not the large tidal river that empties into the Gulf of Maine below Wiscasset.
The original store was established in Windsor by Harland Hussey in 1923 and carried clothing, dry goods and other groceries; what one expected to find in any general store of the time. Supplies were shipped out of Wiscasset or to Augusta by means of a now defunct narrow gauge railroad that passed a mile or so distant, in York’s Corner. The store expanded with new additions in the 1940s, and a “new” store measuring 30,000 square feet opened in 1954 at its present crossroads location.
I have visited several Maine general stores over the years, but Hussey’s is certainly one of the biggest and with perhaps the widest variety of wares for the discriminating shopper. It does seem that they have anything you would could possibly need . . . speaking generally. If not, Augusta and its strip malls and big box stores are just down the road.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
This is the first of several “Dispatches from Maine” which I will posting throughout the summer.
I was chomping at the bit during the last two weeks before we departed home for these familiar and welcoming environs. The last week was hell . . . literally . . . as the temperatures in the Washington, DC area, like much of the eastern half of the United States, climbed into the triple digits for several days. The murderous heat, coupled with intense humidity, spawned storms that ravaged the metropolitan area. One dumped marble-size hail stones that turned our neighborhood white while a tornado touched down just a mile away and cutting power to thousands of households, some for several days. A week later, and two nights before our departure, a rare deracho formed west of Chicago and raced across the United States at almost 100 mph leaving a wide path of destruction in its wake. Much of the Mid-Atlantic states was left in the dark for days as trees were uprooted and power lines snapped. We were happy to get out of town while the getting was good!