The Cooperage

The Cooperage

This building is located in a town that made a name for itself making barrels. It has been an antique shop for as long as I have lived in the area. TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) did a show here, and though they didn’t find any evidence that this building was haunted, the Reed homestead, located out of the photo to the left, certainly gave them what they were looking for. As you can see this building is cantilevered over the falls, which send the vibrations up through your feet when you are in that section. Opposite this building is an old grist mill and on the other side of the water is a house that was once a tavern and inn. There are numerous old structures in this end of town along the old rail line in what was once a thriving industry, barrels were used for packing all sorts of things and Townsend was the barrel making capital of the world. A different world in many ways, and not so much in others.




The mill where my studio is undergoing another stage of “metamorphisation” , the top 2 floors on the ‘A’ mill side are complete and all but 2 studios are occupied. The big change now is…the basement. The whole space is being cleared out and transformed into studios. The bricked up windows in the ‘A’ side will be restored and a courtyard space outside the entrance put in. The work on the C/D mill is in progress with much noise and energy. I did not hear about the offer to go in and get things from the space before work began, but did get a few of the old spools for display. And I got to see what has been done so far with the offer to check in regularly and see the progress. Anyone who has been inside a mill will know what I mean when I say “space”. The expansiveness of these old buildings for the equipment they used to house is amazing. The light from the old windows equally so, and though I don’t want to romanticize the hard work the employees had for the wages they received, the buildings are just beautiful to behold. Here in New England there are still so many mills, both converted to living and business, and  some just empty. It always makes me sad when one goes up in flames, usually an empty one, but sometimes not. The Saco-Biddeford (Maine) mills have recently been bought, electric blankets were once made there, I think by Westinghouse. DownEast  magazine ran an article on the building,  the history and the plans for its future. Once again the space was amazing to see, and in this case the special paint used inside gave a pristine feeling to the images. I am excited to see the transition as the new spaces at the Western Ave Studios takes place over the next few months. It invigorates the place, sending a current of energy through the building as if it too knows the efforts to bring it back to full usefulness. I will post more images as I get them so you can share in the progress.