Towne & Clark

The Kennebunkport Historical Society has an c.1880 photograph looking down Union Street to Arundel Square. It shows the Sea Side Market as it looked before 1893. The Grocery store called Sea Side Market was built in 1862 by Bion Tripp next to c.1800 store of Silas Perkins. Bion Tripp sold the Sea Side Market to James Tripp and Daniel Goodwin just after the Civil War.
Goodwin eventually acquired both shares of the market and took his 13-year-old son Charles on as partner. The name of Sea Side Market was changed to Central Market Goodwin & Son. Business was good; so good that in 1898 Daniel erected a modern Central Market showroom with two entrances next door to the old shop. It had a passageway that connected the two buildings. The Goodwins kept the original shop in the family to use as storage and workspace.
Daniel Goodwin died just a few months after the expensive new building was finished, leaving it up to his 21-year-old son Charles to keep the business afloat. With the help of his 13-year-old brother, Walter who learned to cut meat, the young man was up to the task. Central Market Goodwin & Son continued to thrive until 1919.
In the early 1920s, Ed Clark and Alonzo Towne bought the market and changed the name of the grocery store to Towne and Clark. Alonzo Towne operated Towne & Clark for 43 years. Lonnie was born to Frank and Caroline Towne of Kennebunkport in 1891. He was deeply involved in community affairs for most of his life, as a selectman, a state legislator, as moderator for Town Meetings, and as the Kennebunkport High School basketball coach.
We have very little information about his partner in the business, Ed Clark. In fact, we could really use some more information in our records about the Towne & Clark years at the store. Some of you might remember what it was like to shop there and what the proprietors were like. Maybe some of you even worked at Town & Clark. I’m hoping you will share your memories with us here, today.
Towne & Clark closed in 1967 after 43 years in business. Ginny Sharpe bought the building and then sold it to Russell Mckinnon who rented it to artist Frank Handlen as a studio and gallery. When Frank built his own building further down Ocean Ave, Grace Adams opened Alano’s Dress Shop in the storefront. It is now a clothing store called This is it.

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