This photo shows McClain’s Mills, now Appleton Village, looking east from the head of Sennebec Road and Elm Street and Town Hall Road. At the left, in the trees, is visible the porch of the Sumner/Gushee house, which is no longer there. Beyond is the Grange, once Keene’s store, which was later the library and is now vacant. Across the river on the same side of the road is a small shop, once the George Pease store, and, just beyond it, Riverside Hall, with the Harry Pease store below and a community hall above. This building was the home of the Appleton Community Club, and, until construction of the new Village School, provided the lunchroom and gymnasium for the school. Older residents will remember the “home court advantage” provided by the low beams crossing the basketball court. The hall provided space for theatre, dancing, and large community gatherings as well.

At the left foreground is Brown and Sprowl’s store and its barn, then the V. O. Keller Blacksmith Shop. Just before the bridge is Canal Street/ “Cat Alley”, along which were Horace Titus’ grist mill, a turning shop, the Titus rake and casket factory, and other small shops. A farm was the end of the road. The lumber yard of McLain’s Mill is just visible at the far side of the bridge. The dam which powered this set of mills was just to the right of the bridge, with a sluiceway down each side of the river carrying water to the mill wheels. Above the roof of Riverside Hall at the left may be seen the old Village School, where the Town Hall now sits. Above the V.O. Keller shop at the right may be seen the Keller residence and the still-standing Union Meeting House (not to be confused with North Appleton’s Union Church), restored and now owned by the Appleton Historical Society. Pine Grove Cemetery stretches across the crest of the hill above the village.

Donovan Bowley
Appleton Historical Society

Catalog Number LB2007.1.103943