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Guilford, Maine

Where history meets the future


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Scales Building

Text by Michaela Salvucci and Brody Gourley
Images from the Guilford Historical Society

Scales Building

The John Scales Building was built in 1892. It was built out of wood and then later out of brick. It was a hardware store on the first floor and the First National Bank on the second floor. John Scales & Sons became the firm name on January 20, 1916 because that's when he bought it. Before John Scales bought the building, he opened a small drug store in 1875, called the Hobart Block. It was located on the north end of the bridge. After, Piscataquis Woolen Company built the mill and the store was moved by the office of Straw and Martin at the mouth of Mill Street. The store was moved again across the river and later occupied by E.W. Genthner. Mr. Scales devoted all of his attention to the hardware business. The building was stocked and opened in the spring of 1892.

John Scales died in 1923. His son Charles Scales passed away in 1934. Eugene continued the business up until his death in 1956. His son John and his wife continued the business after. The John Scales building was one of the oldest hardware stores and was sold to Keith Farnham on July 26, who changed the name to Guilford Hardware. In the John Scales building there was a clothing store ran by CF Scales and Company. It was only a men’s clothing store. CF Scales moved his business from across the river to the John Scales Building. A little after the business started he took in Charles Cimpher and the firm became Scales & Cimpher. The next change was when the business was taken over by Dr. W. H. Witham and J. A. Rand. After a while, the clothing store went out of business. Mr. Rand took in A. W. Drake and purchased stock of the Hudson Clothing Company. The name of the store was changed again to Rand & Drake. In 1908, Charles Scales and Harry E. Hale of Dexter bought out Rand & Drake and the name changed to Guilford Clothing Store. In 1928, A. W. Drake became the principal owner. He had served in the capacity of clerk with the different managements before he purchased interests in it.

Guilford Fire Station

Guilford Fire Station

Text by Asia Wohlfeil, Saide Morin, and Aliza Boone
Images from the Guilford Historical Society

The Guilford Fire Station was first built and organized in 1893. It was built by Dan Cimpher, and Alfred Hammford. The fire station was built out of bricks, wood, and concrete. Before it was a fire station, it was just an empty spot in Guilford.

At first, the fire station got the water from the river using a pump that was in the mill. In the first year after it was built, they raised $944 to buy new pipes and hydrants. The first equipment they had was one linen hose, one two-wheeled hose reel that they could use in the summer, and a sled they could use in the winter. Every year after the station was built they raised more money to put more pipes and hydrants out.

In the 1900s the whole town purchased a bigger hose reel that could carry 500 feet of hose. After another year, in 1901, they finally built a hose house on School Street beside the old town hall. The new hose house had high towers for hanging hose to dry and a large stove to heat. Upstairs in the house there was a room for the meetings to be held in. It didn’t take too long and the town and the fire department got bigger and started to get a little nicer as time went by.

By 1941, the town also purchased a 1941 Diamond T Truck with a 500 gallon pump and 150 gallon tank. When they first bought that truck Alfred Hammond was the fire chief and he kept the truck in the old Huntington Garage. In 1948, an insurance program was arranged for the people that worked for the fire department. A year later, more people joined the fire department. It was now up to 25 men. When 1954 came, the town had built a two-bay fire station. It was also shared with the town office. This set-up is still the same today. The fire station held dances and fundraisers. After they raised enough money, they got a meeting room and a kitchen that was furnished and painted. The town got an International Fire Truck in 1956. This truck had a 750 midship pump, an 800 gallon tank with two booster reels, and other necessary equipment. After years and years of improving, the fire station has gotten better and better.

To this very day, the fire station is still standing. The firefighters have held get-togethers to help collect money and canned goods to give to the local food bank. Some people have memories of their time at the fire station; one firefighter’s special memory was when he first became a firefighter.

Guilford of Maine 1816-1991