It’s reassuring to come home on a winter night and see the welcoming lights of the Brooklin General Store (and our Library, which we’ll talk about on another day).


We’ve had a general store as the heart of the village since at least 1872, except for a worrisome 16 months that ended in June of this year. During those prior months, the rickety old store, shown here, was razed.


It was replaced by this spiffy one in the summer, thanks to publicly-spirited neighbors:


The importance of an all-year/every-day general store to coastal villages cannot be overstated, nor can the difficulty of keeping such a store going nowadays. Our General Store is more than a local place to get basic groceries.

Among many other things, it’s a place for fishermen and other early workers to have coffee, breakfast, and conversation beginning at 5 a.m.; it’s a café for residents and workers to get together for lunch; it’s also a nearby spot to get gas, oil, and air for the car, and it’s where you easily can pick up some beer, wine, or desert on the way home -- until 8 p.m.


The General Store's parking lot and the Library lawn across the street also are congregation points for July 4th parades and other public ceremonies.

(Brooklin, Maine)