The Winnegance General Store was built in 1902 to supply necessary goods to local residents, many of whom who worked in the eight tidal-powered lumber mills that spanned the Kennebec River across the street.
Over time, the mills disappeared, leaving only "bumps" in the river as a reminder of their presence, but the Winnegance General Store continued to serve generations of local customers as well as the many summer visitors who stopped in for food and fishing supplies.
In 2009, however, the store closed when the proprietors were unable to continue running the business. In 2013, the store--in poor shape with a foundation so badly damaged that floors inside had begun to buckle--was listed on Maine Preservation's list of Maine Most Endangered Historic Places. That year, Jennifer Greene, a Small Point summer resident, stepped in and purchased the building with a vision of bringing it back to life while maintaining its historic character. The building faced significant challenges, however, including the need for a new foundation, a new front porch, and ADA-compliant access.
Work began with Tancrede House Movers, who carefully lifted the building and slid it 35 feet to the south to allow a new foundation to be dug and poured. The building was then slid back onto its new foundation and fortified with new sills, floor and framing.
Androscoggin Building and Remodeling retained and repaired original materials wherever possible, even fashioning cabinets from pumpkin pine salvaged from the derelict shed behind the store. The original beadboard walk-in cooler was preserved; glass pendant fixtures from a 1916 Lewiston vocational school were recycled; and Houseworks, LLC prepared salvaged flooring for reuse. The badly deteriorated original windows were skillfully restored and made operational by Nate Jung of Jung Restoration.
The result is a neighborhood gem with an upstairs apartment for rent and a flexible downstairs space that has returned to use as a general store and restaurant.
Once threatened by deterioration and disuse, the restored Winnegance Store is once again an asset to the community. In recognition of their exemplary work, Maine Preservation is pleased to present owner Jennifer Greene and the Winnegance General Store project team with a 2014 Honor Award for Rehabilitation.