This c. 1920 photo shows buildings that were destroyed or damaged in the May 1938 town fire. At the far left is the Preble store, later owned by Maurice Caler; Leslie Bridgeham’s barbershop and the Addison Grain Store occupied it. C.H. Small, a general store, also sold stoves. Next to it is the Mayhew Library, named for Calista S. Mayhew, who purchased the building and donated it to the library in 1915. The fire destroyed its 4000 books, and afterwards the Maine Sea Coast Mission donated 1200 books to help rebuild its collection. The building with the tall front is the H.M. Donald building, where grain from sailing vessels was once stored. It was later remodeled and housed a barbershop and poolroom.
The Methodist Church stands at the end of the block. A Methodist organization was established in 1870 and met in the Universalist Church and Wescogus Hall. The Methodists borrowed $800 to purchase its own church building A vestry was built downstairs so the women could serve dinners to pay for the church; they served dinners every two weeks for over 50 years, charging $.25 for many years. The upper part of the church sustained major damage in the fire, but the front and lower part remained standing; the metal ceiling dropped down on the pews, helping to stop the fire. The community came together to repair the church. In 1997 it closed when it merged with the Harrington Methodist Church.
The post office was across the street in the small building, which sustained fire damage but was repaired. It housed the post office from 1917 to 1967. Next door was Will Nash’s general store, which had fire damage on the front; he opened his store in the Masonic Hall until it was repaired.
Caption written by Jeanette Perry