South Hope store withstands time
By Kim Lincoln
The Herald Gazette Reporter
July 13, 2009
SOUTH HOPE (July 12): What is now Pushaw's
Trading Post on Route 17 in South Hope has gone through many owners and
generated a lot of tales since opening more than 120 years ago. One of the
first owners was Marcellus Taylor. He bought the store in 1888 and it was
named M.F. Taylor & Sons. Anna Simpson Hardy's book "History of
Hope, Maine" has a photograph of the store in the 1860s, however, according
to information provided by the Hope Historical Society.
Taylor owned and operated the store, with some breaks, until 1920. At that time, the store was only about a quarter of the size it is today, probably about 700 square feet.
By about 1910, Taylor turned the store over to his son Roy, but shortly after that Roy married Sylvie Brown of East Union and moved to Belfast. Taylor once again took over operation of the store. He sold it to Ann Hopkins in 1914, but got it back within six months after she went bankrupt. The Taylors lived above the store at least part of that time.
After Taylor's death in 1920, the store was sold to Bill Wellman, who operated it until 1931, until he sold it to Ralph and Josie Robbins.
The Robbinses operated the store for 42 years until 1972 and most old-timers remember the store as the Robbins store.
During those years there was said to have been a tin plate on the ceiling. When a customer wanted change for a $20 bill, a huge sum in Hope at that time, Ralph Robbins would tap on the tin plate with a broom stick and the change would come down through a hole in the ceiling. Then Josie Robbins would come down, take the $20 bill upstairs and hide it.
In 1972, the store was sold to Peggy Davis of Lincolnville and her husband, Bruce Leech. The couple introduced hot food and a seafood window. Peggy Davis was divorced and remarried Milron Fuller, and the store became known as Fuller's Trading Post. Although clothes were probably carried in the store much earlier, the Fullers built the business for footwear, T-shirts, sweatshirts and pants.
The store was then sold to Bob Shaw, who
still lives in Hope, and when Shaw retired in 1996, it was sold to Mark
Lincoln operated the store under the name Lincoln's Country Store, before selling it to Ed Greenrose. Greenrose then sold the store to Susan, Jerry and Sandy Pushaw in 2008 and it was renamed Pushaw's Trading Post.
Information provided by the Hope Historical Society.