THORNDIKE — For the month of September, every shopper at Belfast Co-op grocery store will have the opportunity to round up purchases to benefit the Farwell Project, a group working to revitalize a 148-year-old mill in the center of town.

The Common Cents program at the Belfast Co-op allows shoppers to round up the total of their purchases to the nearest dollar, donating their extra change to provide support to a highlighted community organization.

Thorndike Mill & Meeting Place was built in 1873, is on the National Register of Historic Places and consists of a general store and grain mill. Executive Director of the Farwell Project Diana Prizio said with winter coming, the mill and store could use more insulation and a few more windows.

Last year the group was awarded an $80,000 grant to fix the mill’s foundation and shore up the structure with the idea of reopening the village general store as a multi-use facility and the mill as a living museum.

According to Prizio, the museum store in the “General Store” building is now open, but the museum, located on the street-facing side, is not. “We were hoping to have it open for the Common Ground Fair, and we might’ve been close, but since there’s no fair, that may take the wind out of volunteers’ sails,” she said.

The museum is set up as the Farwell Brothers store may have looked around 1940 to 1950. Prizio noted that nothing in the museum is for sale, but items will be priced according to the time period. The museum will most likely be open by the end of September.

A reading and game room is located on the mill ground floor, which will open at the same time and will feature books and non-electronic games, with participation from The Game Loft of Belfast, Prizio said.

Prizio hopes fall train excursions and railcycles to the mill will return — the project is looking to hire a railcycle guide for the month of October. Prizio said it is looking for a fit person who can pedal a four-wheeled cycle alone or with a partner.

The ideal candidate must be able to lift and turn the cycles at the end of the run, sometimes with help from other pedalers. The job could start in September and will go through the end of October, ending at the start of deer-hunting season. The cycles run on a dedicated track, and rides are reserved online in advance. There is a potential for four days a week, with some unpaid downtime between runs.

For more information on the railcycle position, email; for information on the Farwell Project, visit