I know most of you think Freeport, Maine is the home of LL Bean, but they just happen to be in the same town as one of Maine's premier jewelers. Brown Goldsmiths, housed in Freeport's old Masonic building, has been a fixture on 1 Mechanic Street since 1971, owned by good friends Judy and Steve Brown, they make custom designed jewelry from their beautifully store and studio. When I was there years ago LL Bean was just a small building with a lot of stuff in it and now it is the massive retail campus with multiple buildings.
|1 Mechanic Street|
Just as Bean's has grown, so has the scope of Brown Goldsmiths reputation as one of the finest jeweler stores in New England. They have designed and created jewelry that has made them an international destination for everyones jewelry passion.
Along with Judy's creative talents and Steve's gemological expertise their professional staff of jewelers, designers and sales staff are waiting to show off their treasures. Drop on in next time you have to pick something up at that outdoor store just up the block. You will be enticed to browse their cases full of beautiful jewelry and fine gemstones, you may even want to start to design something for that special occasion you have.
No trip down memory lane would be complete without seeing places I used to wonder if they were real? 26 years ago I thought I had gone through a time warp, I needed to see for myself how good my memory was and did it really seem as strange as I had remembered it. As it turns out some of the old places are still there and some had not changed that much, but change is in the making and many of the places have changed and more are going through some major renovations. One such place was Bow Street Market, I used to buy some of my food there, especially local seafood. You could go into the market and if you were early enough you might find some fresh catch that just came off someones boat in South Freeport by Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster Co. just waiting to become your dinner that night. The first time I ever cleaned and prepared fresh spot prawns came for this very market, but as time marches on, so does the the market. Big changes in the works, I drove by and there was the gigantic hole ready to accommodate the New Bow Street Market. (just a note, great lobster rolls at the HL&L, only open for the season)
And then there are somethings that just stay the same, walking up and down Main Street I dropped in at Derosier's since 1904 feeding Freeport through 5 generations, even older that famous boot maker across the street. As you can see from the menu, dropping in for some interesting items, catch the WTF! ice cream and the history link for some great pictures. One of my fondest memories is getting my Ballantine Ale from them, they carried the now defunct ale with the green bottle and special xxxx caps. For a more comprehensive history of the Ale here is the link. http://www.falstaffbrewing.com/ballantine_ale.htm. I think you can still find it in cans in some states but it in not the same product and doesn't have the "crown ticklers" with the rebus on the under side of the cap. Sometimes you just can't go back, except in your memories. Got to thank Hal for introducing me to this drink, he always said one day will keep you healthy and better than an apple.
|Small town Maine|
|Main Street USA|
As you can see from the pictures Freeport has changed from that small New England town but friendships and memories are forever. That evening before a great New England lobster and steamer clam dinner we headed off to hear Steve play stand up bass with his country western group for residents of a retirement home. They got them up dancing, clapping and having a good ole' time, we were in western Maine you know. But is was that evenings meal with all the fixings including Steve's home brewed beers (which were awesome) and some great wines. I could have that dinner once a week with great friends and wonderful food/drink. Thanks again Judy and Steve!
|Steve QC'ing the Home Brew|
|Judy slaving away on a fine meal after a long day of making beautiful Jewelry|
The next morning I pick up my partner in Crime, just down the road in South Freeport a tour of Hal's house, a stop at the local Post Office and we are off like a herd of turtles. We had plenty of miles to go and we thought we had even more time so we thought.