When built, these streets were where commerce was centered, where small shop fronts offered specialized services, and where a good deal of gossip was exchanged.
What is amazing about Norway, Maine, is the extent to which the community has rallied together to save its thoroughfare. In the other two towns in this now three-town area (which, to my mind raised up out west, should all be one thing…but that’s a whole other story), they’ve sacrificed any historical sense to WalMart and the like.
Norway’s buildings somehow survived neglect, emptiness, fires, loss of the mill, loss of the snowshoe factory, and were ripe for rejuvenation.
And now, the street really looks just like that historical print. It’s full, vibrant, enjoyable, and quite frankly, adorable.
This week, my boss and all the Norway Opera House businesses were featured on the local news. It reminded me how special our town is, especially in this economic time.
Being involved through work in two local ventures, and in this week especially, my official one-year anniversary in Maine, I feel deeply connected to the revived downtown landscape. It is a space that works hard with what it has, values what it has been, and reaches toward all that could be.
It may be a tiny town, but it has big ambitions. I’m glad to be at least a small part of it.