Project preserving while helping to provide attractive and reasonably priced places to live.

BETHEL—As a part of a multi-year commitment to help renovate one of the most historic buildings in western Maine into eight apartments and one studio for middle-income residents, Norway Savings Bank was pleased recently to donate an additional $2,500 to the Gehring House Redevelopment project in Bethel.

“The lack of affordable housing has become a critical issue in Maine and beyond,” said Dan Walsh, President and CEO of Norway Savings Bank. “We hope that this project will help individuals and families to secure attractive and reasonably priced places to live while also putting a spotlight on this issue and the need for more projects like this.”

The Gehring House was constructed in 1896 and served as both a home for Dr. George Gehring and Mrs. Marion True Gehring and a clinic where Dr. Gehring would treat patients. Dr. Gehring retired from his practice in 1925 and died in 1932. The house, located on a 10-acre property at the south end of the Broad Street historic district, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 but had been vacant for years when purchased by the Northern Forest Center in 2022.

The Northern Forest Center is dedicated to addressing persistent challenges facing the forest economy and forest-dependent communities of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. One of the organization’s many guiding principles is connecting the economy, community, and environment to accelerate inclusive prosperity. As part of its Maine West collaborative, Northern Forest Center’s amazing work has expanded rural broadband service, increased workforce development in area schools, created community forests, improved access to recreation, and much more.

“The Gehring House Redevelopment project is another layer of our commitment to improving the quality of life for residents, even one person at a time,” said Amy Scott, the Northern Forest Center’s Program Manager who is overseeing the project.

Another aspect of Scott’s work is to coordinate Maine West, which includes a network of 12 nonprofits.


“Maine West promotes any initiative that enhances rural communities to attract people to live, work, do business, and raise families here,” said Scott. “Having community partners like Norway Savings Bank support and celebrate our mission is gratifying and we hope other businesses and organizations also join us in addressing the issues confronting rural Maine.”

The Center is still raising funds to complete the Gehring House redevelopment and welcomes your donation at Details about the project are available at

The first phase of work is well underway at the Gehring House, with construction expected to run through the summer of 2025. During the process, state-of-the-art energy efficiency systems will be employed with the building’s historic features and qualities preserved.

When residents begin to occupy the new housing later next year, they will be within walking distance of downtown as well as the natural beauty of the surrounding forest and trails.

“It’s really remarkable to see how the Northern Forest Center programs develop and make an impact,” said Walsh. “With the Gehring House redevelopment, preserving a piece of Bethel history while filling a community need honors our past and will serve people in the future. We’re thankful to be able to help such a benevolent project.”

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