Summer Travels: Part II

Franklin/Somerset Travels: South Solon Meeting House, Skowhegan, Maine Grains and Happy Knits

Up early the next morning, I settled my camp and took to the road. I had been to the South Solon Meeting House once before, but this time I was excited to have my camera and tripod. Built in 1842, the Meeting House was created as a religious and community meeting place and is today on the National Register. Fully restored in the 1930’s, the building was painted with floor-to-ceiling frescoes by contemporary artists starting in the 1950’s. The artists include: Sigmund Abeles, Alfred Blaustein, Edwin Brooks, Ashley Bryan, Williard Cummings, Sidney Hurwitz, William King, Tom Mikkelson, Anne Poor, Henry Varnum Poor, Judith Shuman, Sidney Simon and John Wallace. The place is amazing and well worth your visit!

A bit dazzled, I re-emerged into the full August sun and continued my journey to Skowhegan. There, I toured the Dry Goods Store of Maine Grains, a fully-operational gristmill; a café with wood-fired hearth at The Miller’s Table; and a yarn shop called Happy Knits. At the yarn shop, I spoke with Sarah Davis and her daughter Hannah. Davis is one of three owners who decided they “must keep the yarn shop going” after it was announced a previous owner would sell, and they have created an inspiring place to knit and browse. The mill, café and yarn shop are all housed in one building. I purchased several bags of freshly-milled heritage flours, beautiful skeins of yarns with two patterns, and some granola mixed with pecans that is delicious! I walked about Skowhegan, peering into the windows of River Road Artisans Gallery, closed on the day of my visit. Serendipitously, I met feltmaker Heather Kerner at The Miller’s Table who is active in River Roads Gallery and who vowed to send me a list of area artists.

Had I traveled east on this day, I might have encountered Bartlett Yarns’ spinnery in Harmony. However, I traveled west and back to the campground to admire my purchases and to sleep under the stars.

—Photography and text by Christine Macchi

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