Publication Date


Document Type


First Page


Last Page



From the late 1850s to the late 1910s, Bodwelll Granite Company on Vinalhaven Island operated a Company Store from which employees could purchase a wide variety of consumer goods. In the early decades of its existence, the Company Store was generally popular with the company’s employees and the island community. Because of certain competitive advantages, and because the company was guaranteed a profit through federal contracts, the company store often had lower prices than its competitors. But by the late nineteenth century, the store’s prices were often higher than its competitors and the store became part of the growing rift between granite workers and the Bodwell Granite Company. The Company Store’s sixty-one-year history has been well preserved thanks to the Candage Collection, housed at the Vinalhaven Historical Society. This collection is a significant group of corporate documents associated with the Company Store for one of New England’s largest granite mining companies. It includes ledgers and account books, inventory and order books, correspondence, shipping documents, bills of lading, and thousands of redeemed trade tickets. The author is a Professor of Business Administration at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire. A 2008 exhibit at the Vinalhaven Historical Society was based on her research on the Bodwell Granite Company Store and was made possible with financial support from the Maine Humanities Council, the Vinalhaven Historical Society, and the Gilmore Fund.