HARTFORD — This Oxford County town has nearly two dozen small businesses that operate from homes and offer a wide range of services.

Cassidy Bedard, 18, of Stetson Road is a farrier who also rescues horses and nurses them back to health before arranging their adoption.

Bedard was a live-in apprentice on a local natural horsemanship training farm for a year and a half, where she learned a natural approach to caring for horses. That’s where her interest in hoof care began.

The animals she rescues are often close to death, but she helps them regain their health so they can be adopted. She provides them with hay, which she also sells. The hay nets they eat from promote better tooth wear and allows food to be available at all times, she said.

Bedard checks the hoof for any fungal or bacterial infections. She trims the hoof wall, as well as the insole, relying on proper nourishment and the environment to complete the healing. She said she believes that with good nourishment, there is no need to shoe the horses. There are many alternatives, such as booting for a temporary alternative.

For those interested in learning to play the piano, Jennifer Randolph offers lessons at her home on Pratt Hill Road. She and her husband, Scott Randolph, were missionaries in Brazil for 10 years. They moved back to this country about two years ago, and Scott became pastor of West Paris Baptist Church, where Jennifer is the church pianist. 

Jennifer taught piano in Brazil and has quickly built up a group of students locally. Her students offer two recitals a year — at Christmastime and in the spring. She teaches children and adults and may be reached at 224-8778.

Another home business helps those with body pain. Elizabeth Garcia O’Keefe uses the Structural Integration technique developed by Dr. Ida Rolf in the 1930s to help tune up bodies and relieve them of pain. It’s done through a series of sessions that run for an hour or more. O’Keefe said she works on the superficial muscles first. The entire therapy is in a workup of 10 sessions.

In addition to the Structural Integration therapy, O’Keefe makes blueberry butter, syrup and dried blueberries to sell from her home on Route 140.

Her husband, Arthur Harvey, has a mail-order book business, where he buys books on Ghandi from the publishers in India or the U.S. and sells them from his home.

Harvey is also an organic blueberry grower and has been so concerned about the Spotted Wing Drosophila infestation that he surveyed 50 certified organic blueberry growers in Maine to see what damage they had last year from this invasive pest.

In 2007, Harvey was the Organic Inspector of the Year, an honor given by the Independent Organic Inspectors Association.

For those wanting home building or repair, David Bowman offers construction services from his residence on Lakeshore Drive. He’s been in business for 21 years and is licensed for electrical, plumbing and construction work. He does tiling, flooring, painting, building custom kitchens and bathrooms, decks, carports, roofs and foundations, as well as  complete renovations. He also offers design and build services, and home inspections.

Among the other small cottage industries in the town are: Jeremy Johnson, excavation; Randy Poulin, firewood sales; Stephen Henderson, excavation; Jolene Gonyes, creative memories; Rosemary Henderson, raspberries, maple syrup and blueberries; Warren Libby, Libby’s Welding;  and Douglas Rines, Rines Home Improvement,.

Others are: Erin Elsman, day care; Robert Doody, foundation sealing; Laurie Babineau, At the Center spa; Alan McNeil, farmer, cattle and hay; Donald Partridge, Black Dog Timberworks; Crash Barry, author; Anthony Patenaude, TATZ Small Engine and Miscellaneous Repair; Albert Borzelli, Happy Hive Farm.

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