A SMALL SHOP WITH A BIG HISTORY
Alewives Fabrics is housed in an antique barn in Damariscotta Mills; a small historic town located on the coast of Maine. We have been a fabric store for over forty years and owned since September of 2004 by Barbara Neeson. Barbara's daughter, Rhea Butler, has been running the shop ever since. Today, Alewives Fabrics is known for an eclectic mix of carefully selected fabrics: we carry the best of contemporary designs, mixed in with vintage graphics such as stripes, polka dots and toiles.
Our barn was originally built as a carriage house and stable for a nearby property. In the 1930's the stable was converted into a general store and was owned by Ernest McGray. Interestingly, Ernest McGray was Barbara Neeson's great-great uncle. Barbara's mother Florence was Ernest McGray's niece and used to work at McGray's General Store as a teenager.
We are called Alewives Fabrics after the "alewife" fish, who make their annual migration to a waterfall located near our store. Every year thousands of alewives migrate to the "fish ladder" (a series of locks that travel uphill) which places them into Damariscotta Lake. This event usually lasts between Mother's Day and Father's Day each Spring. Over Memorial Day weekend, there is an annual "Fish Ladder Festival" held by the locals to help raise money for the maintenance of the fish ladder. The midcoast area is beautiful in any season, but "alewife time" is our own particular season.
We feel very fortunate to have a business in this area of the country that is so full of natural beauty and populated by people who value a simpler way of life. Thank you for visiting our website and we would love to meet you in person at the shop some day!
Barbara and Rhea