Two years ago, I blogged about The Maine House in Abbot, taking lots of photos and posting a video tour. In that blog, I mentioned Dominic and Laura Poiss, the owners of Moosehead Lake Furniture, and promised I would blog about them another day.
It’s hard to believe almost two years have gone by.
It has been such a wonderful experience to be able to blog about Piscataquis County, from the recreational activities and natural beauty to the businesses that reside here. Sometimes, the uniqueness of a business or the incredible service they offer will catch my attention, and if I think it’s something the public would want to know about, I blog about it.
The Maine House was one of those places. I was so impressed by its charm and the beautiful handmade furniture throughout. After getting to know the owner, Seglinde Poiss, and being introduced to her son Dominic, and his wife Laura, it became clear there was more of a story to tell.
Seglinde, originally from Austria, has been in the United States since 1964, and had been a business owner in NY for nearly twenty years.
Dominic met his wife Laura in college. Both are natural artists, with temperaments that mesh remarkably well. He studied furniture design, and upon graduation began producing farmhouse tables for Seglinde’s store. The tables became extremely popular – the customers loved them, but work space was becoming more and more of a problem. The family owned a building in Abbot, Maine for many years, and decided in 2001 that it was time to make a move.
They’ve been in Piscataquis County ever since.
Today, Seglinde runs The Maine House and Dominic and Laura own and operate their workshop from the upper level while displaying and selling their furniture on the main floor, as Moosehead Lake Furniture and Cabinetry.
This is not just another furniture store. Yes,these are solid wood pieces (no particle-board here), built to last for generations, all hand-crafted with great care and distinction; but the beautiful, new furniture is only a small part of what makes this company so special.
If you look a little closer, and if you have the privilege of walking through the showroom with Dominic, you’ll learn these pieces have history and character you won’t typically find in a “new furniture” store.
As we were walking through the workshop, Dominic pointed out where the stacks of wood he was working with had come from, what made each special and what he planned to build with them. Because Moosehead Lake Furniture is nestled deep in the north woods of Maine, Dominic is able to take advantage of the region’s most vital resources by sourcing locally harvested and reclaimed wood. With close to 20 years’ experience in woodworking, he truly sees the beauty in each log he finds, and brings it to life in each custom piece he builds.
At the time of my visit, there was a one of a kind piece in the showroom built with wood taken from the Katahdin Steamship during renovations. There were pieces in the showroom made from old pallets and crates from the Moosehead Manufacturing Mill after it went out of business.
Maine has a rich history of manufacturing dating back to the industrial revolution. With an abundance of natural resources such as forests and waterways, wood and textile mills became a major force in Maine’s economic development. An extensive system of railways provided for additional production and transportation opportunities. Sadly, most of the old mills of this era are long gone, but they leave behind a rich legacy, including salvageable, interesting objects and materials. Moosehead Lake Furniture is always on the lookout for these unique items.
The story behind each piece makes them so intriguing, but the quality of the workmanship is what was most impressive. It became clear during my tour how much care is taken throughout every aspect of production – from cutting, drying and milling, right through to the final stages of custom professional finishing. The end result is a high quality, one-of-a-kind piece of furniture made with great care and a whole lot of heart. Which leads me to the next BIG thing that sets this furniture company apart.
Customers can take an old piece of furniture, something that carries great sentimental value – a family heirloom, like the headboard from your grandmother’s bed or the chair your mamma rocked you in every night while she sang you to sleep..the one that’s been in your family for generations (you know, the one that’s falling apart now). Dominic and Laura will then work with your vision for the project, ultimately creating a design. Whatever you bring them can be rebuilt into a completely different piece of furniture or re-purposed into something new to be cherished for years to come. What a beautiful way to remember a loved one and preserve their memory in a manner your own children can understand! These re-created pieces will begin a life of their own, making new memories, writing new stories… stories your children will tell to their children. For those of you out there who are as sentimental as I can be, isn’t that remarkable?
Dominic is a husband and father. You may even see his children walking through the showroom with him. He and Laura have created a thriving business with a great reputation, but it’s not solely due to the quality of his work or his pricing. This family business cares about family, and they continue to build strong relationships with their customers upon that foundation. This is why they are so successful, and why their customers keep coming back.
So, what can you expect to find in the Moosehead Lake Furniture & Cabinetry showroom? Dominic builds much more than farmhouse tables of heirloom quality and character now. You’ll find rustic occasional furniture, coffee tables and foyer tables. You’ll find custom mirrors and chests. There are full bedroom and dining- room sets, kitchen cabinets and island units. Dining-room tables are produced up to 14 feet in length, with a choice of legs, over 40 colors and stains, and an antique or distressed finish. They are available in pine, maple, oak, and cherry. Tabletops are made of two-inch stock, producing a solid 1 3/4″ finished product. All projects are 100% custom.
This Piscataquis-based, family owned business is one that I needed to share with my readers, for so many reasons. I am certain the content and photos probably don’t adequately capture what makes the place so special and what makes the furniture so beautiful and unique.
So, the next time you are driving through Abbot on your way to Monson or Greenville, stop in and take a gander. It might be the most enjoyable thing you’ll do all day. In fact, the memory might last a lifetime.
Until next time, thank you for taking a Peek into Piscataquis.
Moosehead Lake Furniture is located on Rt. 15 in Abbot.
The address is 100 Main Rd.
Phone (207) 280-3934
for more photos and information, visit MHLF&C on Facebook.