NORWAY – The massive Gingerbread House has been moved most of the way to its new site on Main Street. Work is expected to wrap up late Saturday morning.

At about 3:30 p.m., James Merry and his sons successfully pulled the building off the curbing and away from its home of more than 150 years and headed down the street toward the new site near Butters Park.

By 8 p.m., the house was out of the street but several yards from its final destination. Workers spent hours trying to pull the moving truck from a ditch near the new site.

Finally, workers drove an excavator from the lot next to Ari’s Pizza and Subs where a razed boarding house once stood. The excavator dragged the truck out of the ditch and helped pull the Gingerbread House off Main Street.

Earlier Friday, the building move was delayed by granite curbing on the edge of the adjacent art gallery building that required the crew to shift more weight to the front of the building using additional cribbing to make the move safely around it.

The slow process of the two-day move began around 8:30 a.m. Friday.


At about 9:40 a.m., a roar went up from a crowd of several hundred people who lined Maine Street as the James G. Merry Building Movers crew fired up their tank retrieval vehicle and pulled the house forward about 10 feet.

“It looks good,” called James Merry who was under the building checking the cribbing as the house moved forward.

For the next 90 minutes the crew readjusted the cribbing to ensure the wheels carrying the house had ample support to pull the building on a slight curve out into Main Street before it was hauled about 950 feet to its new location.

Just before 11:30 a.m. the Merrys let three Oxford Hills Middle School  members of the Builders Club, one wearing a Gingerbread Man outfit,  climb on board the tanker and take the short ride with Steve Merry as the building was moved forward again.

The crew then began building more cribbing under the house.

The moving process began Thursday morning but was halted about 3 p.m. when the movers determined it could not complete the move by dark.


The three-story, building is 17 feet wide in the rear, 29 feet wide in the front and 88 feet long. Although it is currently on the National Register of Historic Places, its designation is expected to change once it is relocated outside of the Norway Historic District boundaries, Norway Downtown President Andrea Burns said.

C’s Inc. which is a real estate holding company affiliated with Sun Media Group, publishers of the Sun Journal and Advertiser-Democrat, agreed late in 2008 to delay demolition of the 1851 historic home if anyone could successfully figure out a way to move the massive house off site. A group of volunteers, the Friends of the Gingerbread House, banded together to save the landmark building.

Originally known as the Evans-Cummings House, the Gingerbread House and its octagonal tower has graced the entrance to Norway from the north since 1851.

The volunteer group is hoping to restore the building and will eventually decide how to use the building.

View Gingerbread House move route in a larger map

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