Once upon a time this town had men of vision and resolve. People who settled every corner of this land from Shawmut to Larone, Hinckley to Fairfield Center and a sweet little downtown with restaurants, parks, markets, retail stores, churches and banks.

And there is a community college with two campuses, one in Shawmut and another on Western Avenue. There are health care facilities and a John Deere tractor dealer bigger than a lot of farms in Maine.

Fairfield continues to be the center of this universe as the men at Meridians continue its entrepreneurial traditions. Meridians is gourmet wine, cheese and organic produce. They sponsor wine tastings, from local and world fare, at least once a month. It is located in the historic Gerald Hotel Building in downtown Fairfield. The stately homes of earlier businessmen, mill owners, craftsmen and others continue to lend the town its beauty and history.

Fairfield has two senior housing facilities, one on Mill Island near the park and one in the refurbished, a building from Fairfield’s glorious past.

The Victor Grange 49 building is seen in Fairfield. Morning Sentinel file photo by David Leaming

 

While in Fairfield, you can easily find a bite to eat – pizza, Chinese, American fare and ice cream nearby.

The Fairfield Antiques Mall, the place to visit for a journey back in time, is on Route 201. The rambling buildings hold nooks of a variety of vendors from books to jewelry, furniture, household items, posters, linens, dolls, Ball jars, Moxie bottles and Majolica, a type of earthenware pottery — vases, plates, tile and so on. Once I found a W.S. George Bolero bowl like the dishes I remember from the ‘50s with cherry blossoms and gold trim — what a find. It is a place filled with memories and memorabilia always changing, always fun.

The Fairfield Historical Society’s collections are available for free to members; non-members pay a small fee. For research inquires call 453-2998 or write to Fairfield Historical Society at 42 High St., Fairfield 04937. Open Tuesdays and the second Saturday each month, March-November, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The historical society has various displays for the community depending on the season. One of the great things done by the society is a quilt show with the Victor Grange. The historical society collects the quilts and the Victor Grange displays them. It’s a show worth seeing.

The Victor Grange is an institution from another time that hangs in there with dedicated people, real people who care about community and traditions like bean suppers, quilt shows, craft fairs, plays and hidden garden tours. Barb Bailey (who can be reached at 453-9476) works with the Grange to get window inserts to folks in the area with older houses, who are in need of help staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Volunteers go to the home and measure windows for inserts. Reasonable prices and helping those who are able to build their own inserts keeps prices manageable and helps the community. For more information, call Laura Seaton at Window Dressers, 230-9902.

Some favorite places for garden supplies, seedlings and seeds are Sunset Flowerland and Greenhouses, 491 Ridge Road, (453-2357); Hill Top Greenhouses, Middle Road, North Fairfield and Lyman’s Farm Store, Route 201, Shawmut.

Joy Lyman at Lyman’s Farm Store said, “We started out as a farm store but now we make our money with Amish furniture.” Some rustic, some standard, all well-made.

The Apple Farm is the place to go for your favorite apples in the fall. You can even pick your own, visit the gift shop for maple syrup, fresh veggies, flowers, cider, cheese and more.

There is always something to do in Fairfield: The Farmer’s Market on Main Street, the bandstand in the Memorial Park for Friday night music, and Poulin’s and Somerset auction houses on Route 201.

Schedules of events are available at the Lawrence Public Library.


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