I’ve dreamed of a place to showcase our boards for a lot of years. Our very first shop was in the basement of an old carriage house (fancy name for a barn) where we lived, on the Nubble here in York. The living room once housed the carriages and the bathroom and kitchen were at one time stables. The house was drafty and cold but was a short walk to the beach and that’s all we cared about.
A year in, with a few orders “on the board”, we decided it was time to move into a real shop. We found a small space in the attic of an old red barn, a few miles inland. It was in that shop where we acquired our first real tools (some of which we still use today), built racks for the wall and decent shaping stands, we even had a lazy boy for taking mid-day naps. That building was hot in the summer and cold in the winter. When the wind blew from the north, snow would blow through the front doors.
It wasn’t long before we outgrew the space and happened upon what many of you know as our beloved home base on SideHill Farm. A 4500 square foot shop with plenty of room to grow. While our building wasn’t old (it was a winery before us) it was situated on a beautiful farm with an old dairy barn next door, a beautiful farmhouse, rolling fields filled with cows, sheep, chickens, and more. More than once, we volunteered to join Farmer Dan in wrangling the cows back into the pasture when they escaped. If you attended any of the Surf Re-Evolutions back then, you know how special that place was to us and our entire community. We had 10 great years there but we had to move along.
With little time to find a good spot, we feared our only option would be a garage bay in a no-name industrial park on a non-descript road. Fortunately, we found our current home on Rocky Acres, once a large working family farm, just two blocks from the beach. Our building has a long history on the property. It’s been a boatshop, furniture shop, a produce warehouse, a lobster wholesaler, and more. And now it’s our home. The problem is, it’s a bit smaller than our last shop, so we dreamed of adding-on since we moved in 6 years ago. And last fall we did just that.
Our new barn, adjacent to our workshop, is an 1100sf timberframe barn, hand-built on site. The structure was designed and built by Steve Fifield of Canterbury NH. Once that was up, our very own crew and a few close friends did most of the work through the fall and early winter, adding insulation and plywood to the roof and walls, installing doors and windows, adding trim, soffits, and fascia. Inside, the warm space is split into two rooms, a dust-free shipping and storage room for our goods, and a beautiful showroom where we can finally, after 18 years, display our goods. Stop by and visit, we’d love to show you our shop, share our process and show off our new, beautiful barn.
And mark down Friday, July 21st at 6:30 PM, for our next Surf Re-Evolution mini-series talk, a chat with Jeffrey Ryan. Have you ever wondered where the ideas for America’s public lands came from or the differences between National Parks, National Forests and Wilderness Areas? Maine author (and soon-to-be Parsonsfield resident) has a new hardcover book answering those questions and more and will be here to share some insight.