Motor Vehicles: Their Manufacture, Sales & Servicing in Sanford & Springvale

Sanford & Springvale are often thought of as a center for textiles and shoes. Ernest Goodall of the textile family nevertheless decided in 1903 to have a go with automobiles. He built a plant where Hannaford’s store is now situated and made a start. Two years later in the face of competition he gave it up. In 1914 E. E. Wentworth made a deal with Ford Motors to assemble Model-T Fords in Springvale. He did so for several years. Casco Trucks was the next manufacturing adventure. The firm lasted for eight years in the 1920s. Of longer duration was the use of Sanford manufactured Velmo Plush in fitting out the interiors of many of the automobiles made in the United States. This local history is featured in the new exhibit.

The new exhibit covers the local sale of motor vehicles through advertisements that appeared in the old Sanford Tribune. The years 1937, 1952 and 1967 were selected as the sample years. Eight dealers advertised in 1937, ten in 1952 but only six in 1967. With one exception, all were located in Sanford. Most were on Main Street. Others were on Winter, Roberts, Lebanon, Nason, and Jackson Streets. Chevrolets, Chryslers, Fords and Pontiacs were advertised in all three of the sample years.

Architectural plans for the service station just across the street from the Historical Museum were purchased recently by the society. The station was built in 1937 for Roger Ridley. Three of the drawings are on display along with photographs taken in 1957.  The station’s architectural details are still intact.
Of special interest is a 1930s photo of Jim Makin’s shop on Main Street in Springvale where Partner’s Bank is now situated. Makin sold Texaco gas. One of the colorful glass globes from the top of one of his pumps is on display along with the photo. Also, on display is a collection of Maine license plates including the scarce plates for 1911 and 1912. In all 32 of the 36 plates issued between 1911 and 1946 are on view.

After the opening, the exhibit will be on view during regular opening hours: Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday’s from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Past Exhibits at the Sanford-Springvale Historical Museum in Springvale:
Treasures from the Collection of the Historical Committee, 2006
Fraternal Orders of Sanford and Springvale, 2006
Schools and School Children of Sanford and Springvale, 2007
Treasures from the Goodall Mansion, 2008
Plush and Palm Beach, The Products that made Sanford Famous, 2009
Banks of Sanford-Springvale, 2009
100th Anniversary of the Unitarian Church, 2009
Industries of Springvale, 2009
Citizens Who Cared, 2010
Defining Moments 1945-1976, 2011
Parochial Schools of Sanford and Springvale, 2011
Carriage Robes of the Goodall Mills, 2012-2013
Paintings by Elwyn George Gowen of Sanford, 2012 (two-month special exhibit)
Paintings and Drawings by the late Robert Wilson, 2012 (one-month special exhibit)
Family Cemeteries of Sanford, 2013-2014
Early Transportation in Sanford, 2014-2015
Transportation - Trains, Trolleys and Airplanes, 2015-2016
Sanford and Springvale in the Post War Years, 2016-2017
Movie Theaters of Sanford, 1900 to 1960

Past Exhibits at the Sanford Historical Committee’s former home in Sanford
Prior to its move to the Sanford-Springvale Historical Museum, the Sanford Historical Committee mounted window exhibits at its former headquarters in the Sanford City Hall Annex.  Exhibits over the past twenty years include:
Randy Brooks, Sanford Musician, 1987
Franco-Americans in Sanford and Springvale – three exhibits in 1989, 1991 and 1995
Sanford Made Automobiles and Trucks, 1989
St. Ignatius High School, 1989
Girl Scouts of Sanford and Springvale, two exhibits in 1991 and 2000
Sanford and Springvale in World War II & the Local Men and Women who Served, 1992
The Dairies of Sanford and Springvale, 1993
Village Scenes of Sanford and Springvale, Then and Now, 1994
Houses of Sanford and Springvale, Then and Now, 1999
Sanford Town Club, 1994
The Photographic Work of Fred Philpot, 1996
The Small Cemeteries of Sanford and Springvale, 1997
Lest We Forget, the Legacy of the Goodalls, 1997
Fire Departments of Sanford and Springvale, 1998
Sanford and Springvale in the Days of Color Postcards, 1999
Music and Musicians of Sanford and Springvale, 2000
Architectural History of the Goodall Mansion, 2001
Treasures from the Attic of the Hanson Farm, 2002
Baseball in Sanford, 2002
The Shoe Factories of Springvale, 2003
75th Anniversary of the Henrietta D. Goodall Hospital, 2003
The Tom Ursia Collection of Fred Philpot Glass Negatives, 2004
Centennial of the Great Springvale Fire, 2005