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July 13, 2017

Hope General Store, opened in 1832, is on the block

The Hope General Store, built in 1832 at the central four-way intersection of the Knox County town of Hope, has been put up for sale by owners Heather and Michael Forcillo for $365,000.

The Bangor Daily News reported the Forcillos' goal is to find a buyer who intends to continue operating it as a general store.

Over the years, the building has also served as a Grange hall, trading post, antique store and post office. It became a general store again in the early 2000s. The Forcillos bought it in 2014 and upgraded systems. They decided to sell it because, "we don't feel like we're able to put as much time into it day in and day out as we did before," Michael Forcillo told the paper.

Hope General Store is just one of a number of general stores undergoing transitions throughout Maine.

The 150-year-old Brooklin General Store, also located in the heart of the small community, was demolished to make way for a new building within the same footprint, and recently reopened. Handy's Market and Café in Yarmouth in the past two years had a significant renovation. In Alna, Ken and Jane Solorzano bought the town's general store, changing the name to the Alna General Store and having plans for upgrades and new products and services, the Boothbay Register reported.

The Carrying Place, on Swan's Island, was purchased in 2014 by a Connecticut couple who renamed the store The Island Market & Supply, increased staple-product offerings, and took contracts for propane and mail delivery. And in late May, Libra Foundation said it would revitalize the vacant Monson General Store as part of a larger investment in that Piscataquis County town.

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