C.F. Brown's Store, Somerville, ca. 1915

Contributed by Penobscot Marine Museum


Brown's General Store was the center of the Somerville community. It stood at Somerville Corners, later called Brown's Corners.

The Brown Store sold everything: grains and feed, cordwood and lumber, food and clothing, and, of course, candy. Chickens were once raised on the second floor, as was discovered when the space was being remodeled as a dance floor. Charles F. Brown ran the store until his death in 1928, when his stepson Herklas took over its operation.

Horse-drawn vehicles shared the road with automobiles in 1915. The store did not yet have gasoline pumps, but later Herklas Brown sold Esso gasoline. He attracted the attention of Gordon Parks, an eminent photojournalist of the time, who chronicled American life of the 1940s for Standard Oil. Parks’ photos of the Brown family provided an intimate portrait of life in Somerville.

The store closed in 1962, and the center of the community was lost. In 2020 Somerville has no stores, the Sheepscot River no longer powers mills, and Somerville Corners is a sleepy rural intersection.

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About This Item

  • Title: C.F. Brown's Store, Somerville, ca. 1915
  • Creator: Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co.
  • Creation Date: circa 1915
  • Subject Date: circa 1915
  • Town: Somerville
  • County: Lincoln
  • State: ME
  • Media: Glass Plate Negative
  • Dimensions: 12.7 cm x 17.8 cm
  • Local Code: LB2007.1.102487
  • Collection: Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co.
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Penobscot Marine Museum
PO Box 498, 5 Church Street, Searsport, ME 04974
(207) 548-2529

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. No Permission is required to use the low-resolution watermarked image for educational use, or as allowed by the applicable copyright. For all other uses, permission is required.

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