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Lincoln, Maine

A Town of Hearty, Resilient Souls

Carney's Store

Katarina Pinet
"Research your topic and summarize the ‘who, what, when, and where’ in the form of a few paragraphs"

Carney's Store, Main Street Lincoln, ca. 1998
Carney's Store, Main Street Lincoln, ca. 1998

Item Contributed by
Lincoln Historical Society

Carney’s Store was very important to the town of Lincoln because it provided a local place to shop for clothing and footwear for the entire family at reasonable prices. The store was first located on the south end of Main Street where the new building called “Lake View Senior Housing” is now being built. Later, they moved the store to their new location across the street to where Possibilities Gift Shop is now located. Peter Carney was the owner of the shop at this time. Peter had used the store for his barbershop business and for selling clothing. Prior to opening the store here in Lincoln (1933) he sold clothing door to door in the Howland and West Enfield areas.

Around 1934, Peter sold his barber chair after finding that the clothing business was becoming more successful. In 1935, he renamed the business to “Peter H. Carney.” In 1948, Milton, his son, returned from WWII to help his father Peter. They renamed the store “Carney’s Clothing.” Sadly, in 1951 Peter passed away, and Milton and his mother Flora took over the business. In 1968, the business was incorporated as “Carney Inc." and a year later, Doris, Milton’s wife, entered the business. Then in 1973 Milton’s son Patrick entered the business as well. After several expansions and renovations the store grew and became very successful in Lincoln’s Main Street business sector. In 1983, Carney’s celebrated their 50th year in business and continued until their closing in 1998.

Brooke Lancaster
"Compare and contrast your topic in the past and in the present"

Carney’s Store was first open to Lincoln in 1933, and that was when they were only selling clothing. Later, they added on so they could sell shoes while they were selling clothing. In 2000, they sold the location and the buildings to Paul and Brenda Smith. Carney's Store was on Main Street. It was a store where families could go into and buy clothing and shoes. Many customers visited the store throughout the week just to visit and talk. Outdoor clothing was one of its most popular areas, which included brands Woolrich, Columbia, and Pendleton. They also had a shoe store where they sold baby shoes all the way up to adult sizes.

Just like Carney’s in the past, some of the stores of today are also family stores. For example, Walmart and Marden’s also sell clothes and shoes. They also sell other things like food, toys for little kids, pots and pans, etc. There are many people who also go into these stores each week. They have many different brands of clothing too, and they also have shoes from little kids all the way up to adults. The only thing that is different from stores of today is that they don’t just sell clothing and shoes, but they also sell other necessities.

Peter Carney, owner
Peter Carney, ownerfrom Lincoln News

Nick Haynes
"How did Carney's impact the town?"

Carney’s Store made an impact on the town of Lincoln by providing a local place for people who needed clothing. Then they didn’t always need to go to Bangor or to WalMart to shop for clothes. Also, Carney’s store had a variety of clothing and shoes, even babies' shoes. People went to Carney’s for the personal service and for the convenience of the store, since it was right on Main Street. Personal service was very important for Carney’s. When people were getting waited on, the employees would help them pick out the material they were buying. Also, many people knew the employees, so it made it easier for the buyers because they had such a friendly relationship with them. If someone came in to buy something and wasn't quite sure if it would fit, they could take things home on a slip. Then they could try it on at home to make sure it fit and come back to pay for the clothes within a few days. Carney’s just added to the mix of shopping for local clothes and it also added to the mix of stores over all in the downtown area.

David Hansen
"What if Carney's store never existed? Explain the consequences to the town."

If Carney's never existed we would have had fewer stores, and Lincoln would have had less variety in clothes. Lincoln would also not have had as much business as it does today. We might also not have the variety of stores we do today, and we would have to go to Bangor just to get clothing for our families! If Carney’s never existed, some people might not have the social life they do today. People came in and bought something just to talk. People might have also met other people that they are still friends with now. It is important that Carney’s existed.

Works Cited

Carney, Pat. "Carney's Store." Personal interview. 29 Apr. 2010.

“Carney’s Celebrates 50th Anniversary” Lincoln News (Lincoln) 14 July 1983: 14-15. Print.