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once was the town center. Upon arrival of the rail- road, for the sake of commerce and convenience, the town center was relocated. According to the Town of Cornish website, “between the years of 1850 and 1860, teams of 80 oxen moved many homes down from the High Road to where the town center is today. It took 160 oxen to haul one house over the icy Saco River from the banks of Baldwin.”
According to Sandy Howe, president of the Cornish Historical Society, Cornish has a fascinating and well-documented history that lives on today. “In its heyday at the turn of the century, there was manu- facturing. We had a clothing store. There was an Esso station. We had the first 1/2-mile horse track in the state, with an underground tunnel for safe passage for spectators. We had live radio shows and performances at Pike Hall. At one time the area was known for apples and farming,” said Howe. “After the Revo- lutionary War, many families settled here. We have some interesting people; we still have descendants of Francis Small living here.”
Over the years, Cornish has become synonymous with antiquing, but a closer look reveals a diverse array of unique shops, adorable store-fronts, historic homes, and eclectic eateries tucked inside the various old
Shannon Surette and her little dog, Buddy, offer a friendly greet- ing to customers at Full Circle Artisan’s Gallery.
buildings lining Main Street. By late morning, this tiny town is bustling, and parking is at a premium. Attractive sidewalk displays and brightly colored buildings adorn the streets and give rise to alluring invitations to come inside and explore.
Full Circle Artisan’s Gallery’s trademark purple door opens to a stunning, upscale gallery space where you will be greeted by the delightful and vivacious owner Shannon Surette, and her little dog, Buddy. A dog- lover myself, it was easy to fall into a lively conversa- tion. As I marveled at the quality and quantity of wood and metal crafts, paintings, photos, pottery and other work in this stunning shop, Surette busied about, readying for the influx of customers.
Between bustling to set up her outdoor displays,
and dashing around inside, Surette explained that when she and her family were looking to relocate from Vermont, they came to Cornish and ended up buying a mountain. Clearly, I had misunderstood. A mountain? “Yes. A whole mountain. We were looking for buildable land, but that was all there was available. We came for the land, but the village sold us.” Twelve years later, she is still as enthusiastic about the area as when she first discovered it. “I am so lucky to come here every day. I love what I do.”
A dazzling display of unique artisanry will surprise and delight even the most seasoned shopper.
   Shannon Surette
 Shannon Surette

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