Pro Portfolio: Furniture Mill
Historic mill in Cumberland, Maine, now home to a contemporary furniture maker and his shop
Furniture maker Gregg Lipton stumbled upon his dream shop while mountain biking in the woods in Cumberland, Maine, in 1990. It was an old, cedar-shingled structure perched over the spillway of a dam in the Piscataqua River, and it was for sale.
Supported by a 16-ft.-tall, drystacked fieldstone foundation, the timber-frame building had been a water-powered sawmill for almost a century—from 1865 to 1956—before being converted into a spartan summer house. Along with lumber, the mill had once produced masts, oars, and other parts for ships, which explains the ship’s knees employed as brackets beneath the building’s collar ties.
Lumber still flows through the shop at a good clip, but these days it leaves in the form of Lipton’s striking furniture. In this audio slideshow, Lipton shares the historic story of his mill-turned-workshop and talks about the furniture he produces there.
Produced by: Jonathan Binzen.