I remember well my first drive into Monson from the Dover Foxcroft area via Rt. 15. I had an appointment there one morning, and I drove through Abbot. Since becoming the Chamber Director, it had become near to impossible for me to drive through towns without noticing the businesses which reside there. I am always looking for something that defines Piscataquis County in all of it’s uniqueness and beauty. I have lived in and visited other states and countries, and each have had their own charm; but there is just something about Maine; there’s something about raising kids here, working here, and growing a business here. It comes with its challenges, of course, such as longer winters and roads that pay the price; but when all is said and done, the trade-off is very, very good. This could be why Maine’s slogan is “the way life should be”.
Something beautiful caught my eye… was it a house? A hotel? Whatever it was, it was stunning. An eye-catching, surprising three story building with an architectural wrap around porch, meticulously seated above a rock wall with flower boxes, classy outdoor pendant lights hanging from the ceiling of the porch, and beautiful landscape. I wanted to pull in to the lot but was already running a bit late, so I took my foot off of the accelerator to simply slow down a bit as I made my way through the
intersection of Rt. 16 (West Rd./Back Rd.). I was able to catch a glimpse of the inside of the building, and became even more intrigued when I realized that what was on the inside of the building might be even more beautiful that the building’s façade. I knew I would be back.
Coincidentally, not long after, I was introduced to Dominic and Laura Poiss, the owners of Moosehead Lake Furniture. They own and operate their business from the upper level of the Maine House, and they were interested in becoming members of the Chamber, so I was invited to see the workshop and the wonderful furniture Dominic creates; pieces with history (think wood from the Katahdin).. but that is for ANOTHER post!
I walked through the front doors and into one of the most beautiful gift shops I have ever seen in my life (sincerely). Seglinde Poiss is a sweet woman, originally from Austria. She has been in the United States since 1964, and had been a business owner in New York until moving to Maine in 2001.
It was not long before she began showing me around. This place was magnificent. Gifts of all kinds, great and small, affordable and exquisite; the selection and variety was unreal. The furniture is vibrant and functional. The colors, textures and materials used to create each piece were a feast to look upon. Lamps, textiles, all types and sizes of candles, organic jellies and jams and stuffed animals of all kinds: moose, bear, and owls (lots of owls, owl lovers definitely need to visit this place!)
If you are on your way to the Greenville area, this is a great place to stop for souvenirs. From key chains to switch plates to jewelry. There is something for everyone on your list. I thought it was great that there was a section at the front counter with small hand held toys, fun things for your children to play with during your long car ride. There is a Christmas and a Fall section which she maintains year-round. When I asked her why, she explained that many folks from the south come to Maine in the summer and stop in for new Christmas ornaments and decorations. “I like to carry special items that people want, but also items they need.”
Shopping for a birthday, anniversary, or wedding gift? Yes, you’ll find it here. Home décor & accents, north-woods gifts, general gifts, and unique finds. One of Maine House’s most prized and desired items is their crystal wine glasses, imported with etchings of moose, bear, or loon. Seglinde will ship to anywhere in the world if needed. She is very accommodating to her customers, and has many repeat customers because of her service and care.
A few years back, Down East Magazine did a wonderful spread on the Maine House. Seglinde has a copy in her office and allowed me to take a look at it. She was very proud to be included in the magazine. The spread brought in quite a bit of business at the time, someone even called from out of state to purchase one of the items from the spread in the magazine! Someone at Down East saw something at the Maine House worth reporting on. I am thankful for that. Piscataquis County has been a “quiet” county for many years, and I think it’s high time that someone began making some noise about the great businesses we have here.
The Maine House is one of them. Do not drive past without stopping in. I promise you won’t leave empty handed. And whatever you do, please tell Seglinde that Denise from the Chamber said hello.
Until next time, thank you for taking a Peek Into Piscataquis!
The Maine House is located on Rt. 15 in Abbot.
The address is 100 Main Rd. Phone # is (207) 876-4830.
Want more information on the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce? Click here.