Old Town Canoe firm returning to its roots
By Aimee Dolloff
Tuesday, March 20, 2007 – Bangor Daily News
OLD TOWN – Old Town Canoe, a landmark company in the city, is moving its storage, shipping and receiving operations from Bangor to Old Town.
The canoe manufacturer, a subsidiary of Johnson Outdoors, has contracted with locally owned Humble Beginnings LLC to build and lease a 136,000-square-foot plant. Construction is expected to begin in May, with Old Town Canoe moving in this fall.
“The first thing I said was they were trying to keep the Old Town in Old Town Canoe,” Tom Thornton, who owns Humble Beginnings along with Joe Cyr and Bernie LaBree, said Monday. “They’ve been here for over 100 years and are trying to continue another 100 years in Old Town, Maine.”
The Old Town Canoe Factory Outlet moved last summer from its familiar Main Street site to the former Kagan Lown Building at 125 Gilman Falls Ave.
The new 400-by-340-square-foot shipping facility with 20 loading docks will be located behind the former shoe factory. Thornton and Old Town Canoe manager Tim McGoon have reached a long-term lease agreement with a purchase option.
McGoon couldn’t be reached Monday for comment on whether jobs would be added at the site.
The City Council is expected to vote on a tax-increment-finance package to benefit the local company at its April 2 meeting.
The state also has helped make the arrangement possible by declaring the location a Pine Tree Zone.
“Old Town Canoe and the city of Old Town are in many people’s minds one and the same,” City Manager Peggy Daigle said Monday in commenting on the planned new facility. “The city of Old Town wouldn’t be the same without Old Town Canoe.”