A family-owned town institution stretching back 60 years is changing hands this week, but according to the outgoing owners, not much will change.

Debra Ingraham, bookkeeper and part-owner of the business along with her husband, Rodney, said it is important, because of enterprise's large customer base, to keep the place running, selling parts and servicing equipment so “people don’t have to drive all over the place.”

The new owner, Beauregard Equipment Inc., also sells a large line of farm equipment and implements and has stores in Vermont and New Hampshire, as well as in the Maine locales of Scarborough, Caribou and Hermon, with Ingraham’s being its sixth store.

Debra said John Beauregard called Rodney about a year ago to see if he had any interest in possibly selling the business. At the time, Rodney was unsure and declined the offer. Beauregard approached the Ingrahams again recently, and Rodney had a change of heart.

“Once Rodney said OK, John was like, OK, let's do this,” she said, “Whether we are ready or not, we are moving forward.”

Debra feels confident about the move because Beauregard has a similar line of products and knows the business. “They are not dropping anything,” she said, referring to the product lines.

“It would be hard to sell to someone that didn't know the business,” she said. “That’s not going to help the people.”

Also equally important is the fact that all employees will be retained, she said, “which is a great thing.” Some of the Ingraham employees have been here generations, with one person recently retiring after 40 years.

“The employees have been here a long time and they know what they are doing,” Debra said.

The Ingrahams have two adult daughters, one who lives in Colorado and the other in Knox, and she is studying to become a nurse. Neither, Debra said, has interest in continuing in the family business.

Ingraham Equipment, located at the corner of routes 137 and 220, has been in business since 1960, though it did not start at its current location.

Rodney’s father, John W. Ingraham, started the business about a mile down the road at Gold Top Farm, selling snowmobiles and Case IH farm equipment, “in a small building that was set back,” Debra said.

Wanting a more visible location, in 1980-81 the family moved operations to the current location after purchasing the corner parcel, where an old farmhouse once stood, from the Bessie family.

At one point, Ingraham's had a second store in Corinna, but that business was sold in 2000.

Over the years, Ingraham Equipment has hosted numerous open houses, chicken barbecues and car shows, as well as sponsoring Toys for Tots and district sports, including the Mount View basketball program.

Debra felt the new owners would be just as supportive to the local community, especially since several Ingraham employees have kids attending Mount View. “If you ask them,” she said, “I think so.”

In the meantime, she said she has not had time to think about what she will do once the deal is done, but she still has bookkeeping to do for the next few weeks.

In the winter, Debra said, she could see traveling to Florida, Colorado or Alabama to visit family, and “Rodney will tag along.”

“I’m not too excited to jump on a plane right now,” she said.