A gaping hole in the side of Orphan Annie’s Antiques at 96 Court St. is covered Friday afternoon, months after a driver fleeing police slammed into it in September as it turned from Court Street onto High Street, right. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

A pickup truck crashed into the High Street side of Orphan Annie’s Antiques at 96 Court St. in Auburn on Sept. 1, but it could be months before the extensive damage is repaired.

For now, owner Daniel Poulin is operating out of half his store during one of the busiest times of the year, because the accident forced the closure of the other half. He said he lost more than $350,000 in merchandise that was damaged or destroyed in the aftermath of the accident. Repairs to the building are already estimated at $100,000 and could go higher.

Poulin recounted the day it happened, saying he heard a large boom and it felt like an earthquake. He said when he went outside to investigate, police were already there.

Orphan Annie’s Antiques owner Dan Poulin looks up Friday afternoon at the tin ceiling he never knew existed at his Court Street business in Auburn. A pickup truck crashed into the side of the building in September, requiring extensive demolition of the room where the drop ceiling and walls were removed. The room was full of antiques and collectables. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Poulin said the power of the impact broke a water line, split a large diameter wooden support beam in two and shook the whole building. Poulin said the contractor told him it could be eight more months before he’s able to complete the repairs.

A police report on the accident stated brakes on the 2006 Ford pickup were a contributing factor in the crash, but that no alcohol or drug test was administered.

This isn’t the first time Orphan Annie’s has been struck by a vehicle. Poulin said it happened more than 20 years ago when a woman lost control of her vehicle and struck the corner of the building on Court Street.

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Land is being cleared Friday on a three-lot parcel between Dead River Co., bottom right, and the Irving gas station, middle left, near the corner Turner and Center streets meet in Auburn. A three-story, 100,000-square-foot self-storage facility is being built at the site. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Climate-controlled self-storage unit breaks ground in Auburn

Diamond Point Development and The Ardent Companies broke ground on a three-story, 100,000-square-foot self-storage facility at 179 Turner St. on three undeveloped plots next to the Dead River Company complex.

The more than $5 million project will be a standout in the Lewiston-Auburn market, offering 750 temperature and humidity-controlled storage units in one location. Developer Jason Sommer said their analysis showed that the Lewiston-Auburn market is “underserved” when it comes to climate-controlled, self-serve storage facilities.

The company has developed similar properties in Georgia, Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and one in South Portland.

Land is being cleared and opening is expected opening in March 2025, under either the CubeSmart Storage brand or Extra Space Storage brand name.

Dylan Larose waits on a customer Friday afternoon at Dag’s Bait & Tackle at 559 Minot Ave. in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Dag’s Bait Shop for sale

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It’s one of the few bait and tackle shops around, and it’s for sale. Dag’s Bait & Tackle at 559 Minot Ave. has been a fixture for local anglers for years and remains a busy store.

Dylan Larose and his father bought Dag’s in 2009, shortly after he was discharged from the U.S. Air Force, where he was a machinist. His father has retired and lives in Florida, and Larose said he just wants to punch a clock and let someone else pay him to work.

He said he’s interested in the life sciences field and may go back to work for the government.

The building is for sale, as is the three-bedroom apartment above it, and the stream and dam behind the building and an older building that used to house a grist mill. It’s listed for $425,000.

The Buzz offers quick hits about trending area business happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact business writer Christopher Wheelock at 689-2817 or cwheelock@sunjournal.com

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