The Mills of Maine
Historic mills now destinations
for shopping, food and culture

The cavernous brick mills where tens of thousands of Maine people made their
living from the mid 1800s to the mid 1900s now hum with a different kind of
activity and purpose.

Nearly all of the textile, shoe and masonry manufacturing operations that helped
cities and towns like
Biddeford, Lewiston, Brunswick and Camden grow during
America's industrial revolution have closed.

Today, mills throughout the state are filled with restaurants, gourmet markets,
galleries, artist studios, specialty food makers, antiques dealers and small
businesses making everything from guitars to porch swings and hooked rugs.

The buildings also host traveling film festivals, art exhibitions and live
entertainment. Here's a glimpse at what's happening inside historic mills in

Knox Mill Center, Camden

The former home of Knox Woolen Company, which specialized in mechanical
felts for papermaking machines, is a growing retail and food destination in
downtown Camden. Knox Mill Center is a 193,000 square foot complex on three
stories, just two blocks from Main Street and picturesque Camden harbor.

Businesses inside the mill include a gourmet food and wine market,
photography gallery, book shop, restaurant with live music, a hand-hooked
wool rug and pillow maker, and a clothing and home furnishings store. Knox
Mill Center is located at 48 Washington Street in Camden. Call 207-236-3691 or
The Knox Mill for more information.

Fort Andross, Brunswick

This mill complex along the Androscoggin River is named after the trading post
that was built on the same site in 1688. Fort Andross is now a modern day
business center with a 15,000 square foot antiques showroom, indoor flea
market, restaurants, and artists studios that are open to the public during
monthly second Friday Artwalks May through December.

A rotating exhibit of artwork is displayed in the Coleman-Burke Gallery
operated by the Bowdoin College Art Department, and there's more art,
independent films and great river views to been seen at
Frontier Café, Cinema
and Gallery.

Fort Andross is located at 14 Maine Street in Brunswick and is a short walk from
the Bowdoin Mill on the other side of the river in Topsham.
The Sea Dog
Brewing Co. operates a restaurant/microbrewery on the ground floor of the
Bowdoin Mill.

Bates Mill Complex, Lewiston

Union soldiers in the Civil War stayed warm and dry with blankets and tent
cloth made at Lewiston's Bates Mill. The mill's history of textile and shoe
manufacturing is shared at
Museum L-A, a new attraction that preserves the
industrial and cultural heritage of Lewiston and its twin city of Auburn.

Maine Heritage Weavers continues to make traditionally loomed bedding, and
sells bedspreads, blankets and coverlets at the
Bates Mill Store. Other products
manufactured at the mill include high end cabinets and furniture by Mcintosh &
Tuttle Cabinetmakers and world renowned acoustic guitars made by Pantheon

A coffee bar and bistro, Italian restaurant, and a gourmet seafood grill keep
visitors to the Bates Mill Complex fueled.  The mill is located between Canal and
Lincoln Street in downtown Lewiston.

North Dam Mill, Biddeford

North Dam Mill is part of the historic Pepperell Company mill complex along
the Saco River in Biddeford. Textile and home goods manufacturers have been
replaced by several boutique shops, artist studios, furniture makers, a truffle
exporter, a gourmet cookie and tart baker, and a coffee house.

The mill is at 2 Main Street in downtown Biddeford, and just up the river from
southern Maine's newest microbrewery at Saco Mill House in Saco. Run of the
Mill Public House and Brewery is owned by the same proprietors of Central
Maine's popular Liberal Cup Public House & Brewery in Hallowell. The
brewery and restaurant is located on Saco Island.

To learn more about unique destinations in Maine go to
Visit Maine.
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Art and large windows with views of the Androscoggin River enhance the dining space at Frontier Café Cinema & Gallery inside the Fort Andross mill complex in Brunswick. Credit: Frontier Café Cinema & Gallery
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