Saturday, April 4, 2009

There is "Hope" in Maine

In the May issue of Down East magazine is an article about a little hamlet just northwest of Camden. Recently, a young scotsman purchased the General Store and opened for business. The store became a kind of central meeting place for town residents, and some attribute the town's recent renaissance to the (re)opening of this store.

Hope is now home to, among other things, a blacksmith and a wind-powered spinnery.


If you're looking for one of James Kunstler's "transition towns", this is it ...

... without all of the hoopla and endless, arduous hours of planning and plotting.

Even better, without any development. I think what I love the most is that Hope wasn't suburbanized. Rather than leaving the old buildings to simply rot and razing old farm land to build shiny new shopping centers and condos, community members renovated the old buildings for things like the General Store, a blacksmith and woodworking shop, a spinnery, a tavern, and a cabinetry business. They even held a fund raiser to purchase a parcel of land that would have otherwise ended up as a development and enabled its permanent conservation.

Further, the article states that community members support each other, including, but not limited to the CSA. In our future, we will need places like Hope to show us how to become communities again.

Here's to Hope ;), as they say up there, "Hope is Hip" ... or if you believe the tavern owner, "Hope is Happening!"


1 comment:

  1. I'd love to live in or near a place like this.