In the mid-to-late nineteenth century, general stores were often the first business establishments in town, creating an anchor for the community. They became not only a place to buy a variety of goods, but also a place for the local townspeople to gather and socialize. The 1902 Winnegance Store functioned as such a store with a variety of owners until it closed in 2009. Many descendants from prominent families in the area ran the Winnegance store over time.
The Winnegance Store’s existence is currently threatened by declining conditions from lack of use, or future potential development. The store may be eligible for the National Register on its own, or as part of a potential historic district but has yet to be listed.
The Winnegance Store has great potential for a variety of uses. Since the store is easily accessible to the adjoining towns of Phippsburg, Bath, and West Bath, catering to the needs of these communities would help facilitate successful rehabilitation of the property. Maine Preservation is offering a $500 matching seed grant for project planning. A rehabbed general store in Lincolnville recently reopened, creating a place for locals to meet and buy local and organic products.