J. P. Davis Stores & Tinware

    The Davis family’s tinware business in South Berwick dates back to the early 1800s, when Richard Davis (1801-1895) and his partner, Ira Gilpatric, operated from a building near Quamphegan Landing, not far from the Baptist Church. For a time, they may have had a store near the present location of South Berwick Town Hall. For many years Richard Davis lived in the Judge Benjamin Chadbourne House, with Gilpatric living next door. “Gilpatric and Davis carried on an extensive tinware manufactory,” wrote resident George Washington Frosst in a memoir. “They employed several men as peddlers who penetrated York County far and near, exchanging their wares for either cash, old iron, rags, sheepskins, old pewter, brass, and lead. In fact, almost anything was accepted in those days in the way of trade.” An account of the fire of 1870 in the Dover Enquirer claimed that the blaze originated in yet another site, Joseph P. Davis’s tin shop.