DIXFIELD – A lot of big farms may be a thing of the past locally, but the desire for people to have a few farm animals continues to grow.

That’s but one reason for Butch and Donna Towle to more than triple the space of their downtown hardware, lumber and feed store.

On Tuesday, more than a dozen workers were pouring concrete or doing other tasks for the footing of a new Towle’s Hardware Store that Butch Towle plans to open in September.

The business, in the family for 97 years, continues to grow, he said.

The old hardware store, including two second floor apartments, will be torn down. In its place will be additional parking for the new store, being built adjacent to the old one, and Towle’s son’s business, The Corner Store, also next door to the hardware store. Chip Towle opened the gas station and convenience store last year.

The 6,000-square-foot hardware store will grow to 18,000 square feet.

“All departments will be added to. There will be a big grain building, and lumber building,” he said. “People have a lot of cattle, horses, pigs, chickens.”

Several existing buildings will remain while several new ones will be built.

Towle said a silent auction will be held sometime this summer to sell shelving and other items from the existing store.

General contractors are Mark Winslow Contractors of Falmouth.

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