By Eleanor Cade Busby
Many of the family and original employees of S. Fernald’s Country Store gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the family business , a fixture on Main Street, Damariscotta. (Eleanor Cade Busby photo)
S. Fernald’s Country Store on Main Street, Damariscotta was packed June 27 as the store owners celebrated 25 years in business. Many former employees, patrons, and family members came to help celebrate the day.
The current store is the third incarnation of Fernald’s. The original Fernald’s opened in 1990 on Main Street. The business, founded by Sumner Fernald Richards, is named after the Richards’ grandfather and father, who, like Richards and his own son, Ricky, share the same name.
It has a long been a popular gathering spot for musicians, local business people, the theater crowd and others who delight in the
The eatery and country store has been in three locations over the years originally on Main Street in the former home of Briggs Pharmacy, then in downtown Waldoboro for several years before returning to Damariscotta in 2010.
“This is where we belong,” said Sumner Richards III, “We are so rooted in the Damariscotta scene part of the town that even the sandwiches are named for local residents.”
As part of the celebration some of the original sandwiches like “Ricky’s Lunchbox,” “The Dragon Lady,” and the “Skidompha” were offered at the prices from 25 years ago.
Jason Packard from Rochester, N.Y. stumbled upon the celebration.” These people act like they know me and I just came to town,” he said, “It’s like I stepped back into the 1950s.”
Many touches are preserved that can make visitors to Fernald’s feel like they’ve stepped back in time including penny candy, old-fashioned soda fountains, and an antique cash register.
Jim Bickford, a regular from the old days who still frequents the store, said “Fernald’s is family
. When a family member was ill, Sumner (Richards) sent over my favorite sandwiches to Cove’s Edge. He knew I wouldn’t be leaving to get food and just took care of that. That is what Fernald’s is; a place where hometown still means something.”