We're pleased to share the second in our series of profiles showcasing our amazing business members.

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Business Member Profile: Hight Family of Dealerships
By Sam Hight
Since 1911, the Hight family has been serving Central Maine's automobile needs. Walter Henry Hight I began the Hight Family of Dealerships early in 1911 with Ford Motor Company. In his first year, he sold over 400 of Henry Ford's Model Ts. Before that year, there was only one automobile in Skowhegan, Maine. Not only was Walter Hight selling the automobile, but the American dream. Customers would come in with their horse and buggy, and after a brief lesson on how to operate the mechanics of the Model T along with a driver's education session, customers were covering more miles in a day than they ever had before.
Needless to say, Walter Hight was a risk taker. He transitioned and renovated his livery stables and hay, hemlock bark, and straw wholesale business into a warehouse and sales department for the mighty automobile. The Model Ts were shipped to Skowhegan and disassembled, on box cars, six to a time. Because the roads were virtually impassable until June, winters were spent assembling the Model Ts in the converted warehouse. Not until late May would Walter display the automobiles outside.  

The Hight Family of Dealerships is now made up of two Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC dealerships in Skowhegan and Farmington; a Chrysler Dodge Jeep franchise in Madison; and a Ford motor franchise in Skowhegan. Walter H. Hight's son, Kirby, ran the dealership until the mid-1970s when his sons, Walter and Lou, took over the business. Now Walter's two sons, Toby and Corey, are involved in the Skowhegan and Madison dealerships, and Lou's son Sam is at the Ford and Farmington locations. The Hights are currently well into their fourth generation. Nationwide data shows that only 3 to 5 percent of family businesses make it to the fourth generation, and we are in the best position for generations to come.

The Hight Family of Dealerships reflects longevity, honesty, service after the sale, family, and community. Doing business with the Hights means something to our customers. They understand that loyalty is a reciprocal product.

"You put us first in sales, we put you first in service." This enduring quote has literally lasted decades and generations. We sell to sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons... daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters.  

We support the communities that support us. Whether it be through donations, volunteerism, time, and/or money, we do what we can for our customers and community. We do it humbly and happily. We are on community boards and focus on economic revitalization of our areas.  When our customers are successful, we are successful. When our community is strong, we are strong. We once sold vehicles to grist mills and bakeries, and we are doing so again today.  

The Maine Grain Alliance has provided our community with a return to a sustainable and growing grain economy. From the Kneading Conference and Artisan Bread Fair to seed restoration and farmer support, we support all of their work and know that the revitalization of the grain economy will help our community and our business. It is what small-town, locally owned family businesses do.
Maine Grain Alliance | tristan@mainegrainalliance.com | www.kneadingconference.com