History: 6 Main Street

6 Main Street, Lewiston was home to a rotating cast of brewers spanning nearly ten years.

The first brewer at this location was Albert W. Potter. Potter jumped into the brewing game in 1872. From his location on Main Street near Lincoln, he brewed pop and small beer. In 1873, he partnered with a man known simply as Morrill.

Brewer Albert W. Potter, 1872 Lewiston City Directory
Brewer Albert W. Potter’s listing in the 1872 Lewiston City Directory. Ancestry.com.

By the end of the year, Potter had stepped out of the operation. Not much is known about Potter before he began brewing, nor is there much about him after he quit the business. In 1880, Potter—crippled by rheumatism—was farming with his father in Litchfield. There they lived with Albert’s wife and daughter.

Morrill kept the brewhouse running after Potter’s departure. Next to nothing is known about Morrill, even his given name. In 1874, he recruited Fred Thornton to help out. By the end of the year, Morrill left the business.

After Morrill’s departure, Thornton brewed at 6 Main Street until 1876, when the thirty-year-old Canadian left brewing to become a stonemason.

Before leaving, Thornton had brought on Henry Hines as a partner. Hines was a Mainer, born in 1849; his parents were immigrants from Ireland. He would be the last in the line of brewers at 6 Main Street, brewing until 1879 when the business finally closed. The 1880 census listed him as unemployed—no doubt a difficulty for his wife Margaret and their two children.

6 Main Lewiston, 1886
6 Main Street in Lewiston was home to many brewers through the 1870s. Sanborn Map Company, 1886. Library of Congress.


Will Anderson, The Great State of Maine Beer Book (Portland: Anderson & Sons’ Publishing Co., 1996), 11-12.

Lewiston City Directory, 1872, 1876.

U.S. Census, 1880.