YARMOUTH — Stephanie Fay of Freeport often gets a glimpse of Eartha, the world’s largest rotating and revolving globe, as she passes by the DeLorme headquarters while driving along Interstate 295.

But she never stopped to check out the spectacular model of Earth until Saturday, when she and her husband, Jim, finally dropped in at DeLorme’s lobby to see Eartha up close and personal and check out the DeLorme map store, in its final day of business.

“The perspective is so different,” said Fay, who sat on a bench with her husband watching Eartha slowly spin.

The Fays were among hundreds of people who stopped by DeLorme on Saturday to pay their respects to Eartha and search for a deal at the DeLorme map store, where everything was 50 percent off.

Employees said business at the map store had been brisk, ever since it was announced two weeks ago that the Yarmouth mapmaker had been sold to Swiss GPS giant Garmin. Garmin bought the 40-year-old company for its inReach device. The product is a walkie-talkie-like piece of technology that allows users to communicate by text and issue distress calls by satellite, a big hit with boaters, hikers and hunters who venture outside of cellphone range.

Garmin is keeping on most of DeLorme’s 92 full-time employees, who will focus on research and development. But the company decided to close the map store – which sold a wide range of maps, books and travel items – laying off several workers.


Store employees, who declined to identify themselves, said the announcement sparked an immediate jump in sales, which by Saturday had reached a frantic pace as deal seekers lined up at the register.

David Kitchen of Yarmouth said he was there to bid farewell to a favorite browsing destination.

“I am saying goodbye to a store I have spent a lot of fun hours in,” he said.

Eddie Zelonish of Portland was checking out a pair of lighted reading glasses after picking out a map of Utah for an upcoming birthday trip to the state with his wife.

“I didn’t realize the place was going out of business,” said Zelonish, who works with the crew that cleans the building off Route 1.

Copies of DeLorme’s Maine Atlas and Gazetteer were selling briskly. Garmin has not said whether it intends to continue publishing the popular collection of 78 maps and information that has guided generations of outdoor enthusiasts to remote hiking trails, fishing spots and scenic sights. The Gazetteer was the company’s signature product.


DeLorme was started in 1976 by David DeLorme, who was frustrated by existing maps as he tried to access his favorite fishing spots. The Gazetteer became a template for other DeLorme state atlases.

The DeLorme family, which owned all the company stock, approved the deal with Garmin because the new owner intends to continue the company’s Maine presence. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The company said last year that half of its $20 million in sales came from inReach.

The deal requires Garmin to keep Eartha open to the public and tour groups.

But the closing of the store struck a blow to its fans, who all day Saturday were scooping up half-price travel underwear bags, scrunchable maps, giant world mouse pads and guides to the fishing depths of Maine’s lakes and ponds.

“We are kind of sad to see it go,” said John and Deb Nelson of Yarmouth, who were shopping with some out-of-town friends.

Jeremy Boron of Brunswick, shopping with his 5-year-old and 3-year-old twin sons, said he was sorry he had waited until the store’s last day to pay his first visit.

“I didn’t realize they had quite so much stuff,” said Boron, who was stocking up on half-price waterproof sailing charts.


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