When August beckons, the fresh coasts and forests of Maine make the "Vacationland" state a popular getaway destination. A number of manufacturing tours, including those of some iconic Maine brands, exist in the easily accessible southern region of Maine.
On your way north, you may want to stop at Stonewall Kitchen in York on the south coast to see its manufacture of homemade-style jam and other kinds of specialty food (and stock up for the trip). Not far away, in Sanford, the famous brand Tom's of Maine makes its toothpaste and other personal-care products in a facility that was carefully built to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
Moving along, on the shores of the mighty Sebago Lake is the home of Sabre Yachts in South Casco. Here you can see the intricate process of building yachts, which must assemble the complex infrastructure of an entire house within the confines of a 42-foot sea-worthy sailing vessel. (Be sure you call ahead to arrange a time to tour, and be aware that you may be regarded as a potential customer!)
Farther north still, you can visit the original deep-woods water source of Poland Spring, perhaps Maine's most famous company, at the Poland Spring Museum and Spring House. It is open free from May through October. You can learn about the history of the company and Maine's vaunted spring-water industry. Lastly, all the way up in Auburn, the woodworking tour of Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers reveals the entire traditional process of building exquisite heirloom furniture. During the summer, the company runs its shop tours at 10 a.m. on Thursdays.
This would be quite a trip. We're excited already. For more factory-tour ideas in New England or anywhere else in the United States, be sure to pick up a copy of our book Watch It Made in the U.S.A.
Posted By Karen Axelrod Jul 29, 2010