Real Estate

P.O. Box 66 • 5 Lake Street
Lincoln, Maine 04457
(207) 794-2460
(800) 675-2460
Fax (207) 794-8539

Our history

An abbreviated history of CWA & Lake Street Real Estate
By Edmund “Tate” Aylward

The practical history of this agency probably begins in 1958 when my father, Carlton W. Aylward, became licensed as a real estate broker working for George E. Edwards at Edwards Real Estate on 41 Main Street here in Lincoln.

His license was #32 and is hanging in the reception area of our office today.

Details are sketchy over the next two decades as I am not old enough to recall and Carleton’s contemporaries of the time have now passed or are no longer able to remember the specifics. One thing is certain, the business and personal relationships between George and Carleton remained strong for the rest of both of their lives. George’s son John maintained his legal practice at the same location (although the address is changed to 36 Main Street now) and routinely handled real estate transactions for CWA & Lake Street Real Estate until his retirement, as a testament to that relationship forged decades ago.

John and I finally settled the sales of properties owned jointly by George and Carleton. Due to the volume of business owned jointly and their unique brand of business practices, the joke around town between Carleton and George was “What happens if one of you dies?... The answer was that he was the lucky one.”

At some point over the next fifteen years, Carleton established Lake Street Real Estate on Lake Street in what is almost our exact location currently.

He continued to work with George buying, selling and developing land as well as brokering real estate for clients of his own. They took on several partners including other local and far flung friends, local business people, and old college roommates in a variety of projects.

During the early seventies, Carleton hired Beth Davis who went on to open Main St. Real Estate. There were other agents as well, but I cannot recall their names as they did not rejoin Lake Street Real Estate later.

During the mid 70’s, Main St. Real Estate merged with Lake Street Real Estate and Beth brought her gang over to work with Carleton’s at which time, Lake Street Real Estate was probably the largest agency serving this area. At that time, they brokered real estate transactions, did extensive property management and as always, Carleton continued to buy, sell and develop property with George and their various other partners.

In the early 80’s, several of the agents moved on to form Golden Opportunities Real Estate Agency and Beth’s personal life changed direction taking her to Florida.

While this transition was amicable, Carleton chose to license a second agency, CWA Real Estate (CWA being his initials) to operate parallel to Lake Street Real Estate. He continued to operate Lake Street Real Estate on a limited basis due to its history and name recognition but shifted most of the business to CWA Real Estate and continued in this fashion until his passing in 1993.

After the departure of Beth and the other agents opening Golden Opportunities, Carleton hired Priscilla Ayer as secretary and had several part time agents, one of whom, Peter Phinney, is still here today. Peter began his part time career in 1985 and has slowly shifted focus over the years to his current career that is strictly devoted to being a real estate broker. Doug Steeves, a high school classmate and lifelong friend of Carleton’s was the only full time agent working at CWA Real Estate and Lake Street Real Estate working with Carleton at this time.

I was also licensed during this period and began working part time selling real estate in 1988.

Doug and Priscilla continued to work for my mother and I after Carleton’s passing until health issues forced both into retirement.

The modern era of CWA & Lake Street Real Estate begins on July 19, 1993 after Carleton’s passing on July 18, 1993. My mother Earlene Aylward had been licensed for over a decade and became the owner of both CWA Real Estate and Lake Street Real Estate.

Although she had been licensed for a number of years, she had never sold real estate for a living and was at the beginning of her opportunity to enjoy retirement. As such, she designated the management, designated broker, and day to day responsibilities of running the business and selling real estate to me. She focused on cleaning up the office, updating files, improving accounting, and helping in a variety of other ways.

Although that last statement sounds brief and minimal, those of you that knew Carleton and his files, bookkeeping, etc. know what a monumental task that was.

It was at this point and during this process that the two agencies, Lake Street Real Estate and CWA Real Estate were relicensed as one agency called CWA & Lake Street Real Estate as it is still known today.

During this time, I became full time (24-7-365!), Doug continued to work full time, and Peter increased his focus on real estate. The changing times and subsequent office policies discouraged part time brokerage and the three of us became the entire sales force.

Kelly McInnis (now Sage) came to work on a temporary basis as our secretary in January of 1996 because of Priscilla Ayer taking a leave of absence due to illness. When Priscilla’s illness dictated that she would not be able to return to work, Kelly shifted from temporary to permanent and stayed on until 2017. Jennifer Rhodes (now Loynachan) filled Kelly's position, and is still working here now.

Mark McCormick worked as an agent here during the period after having been an agent at Edwards Real Estate. After a couple of years, Mark returned to Edwards Real Estate and then went on to open McCormick Realty after George’s passing.

In 1998 Doug Steeves suffered a stroke and subsequently decided to take an early retirement at only 75 years of age. Doug’s decision to continue working at this agency after my father’s passing is part of the reason we are still here today and it is greatly appreciated.

In 1999, Kirk Ritchie (my first cousin) came on board as an agent after having worked at a variety of professions and having owned several businesses. He soon started telling people that he thought this may be his last job and he is still here today.

In 2000, my mother decided that it was time for her to fully enjoy her retirement and I purchased the building and business from her making our previous working arrangement official.

Early in the 2000’s, our business was improving, our facility was not and I purchased the adjacent property with a long term plan for a new facility.

Our new building was built on the adjacent lot in 2009 and our old building razed for parking as soon as we moved. We have now caught up to the modern world with central air conditioning, modern technology, spacious offices, and room to grow. (Although we still have a dog and the historical refreshments on site!)

We enjoy our new facility and the many compliments we receive for it.

I am sure there will be many changes to come and I sincerely hope that someone will need to update our history again in fifty-plus years to tell you about our agents, employees, facilities, customers, clients, friends, and successes.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I am sure there are many mistakes in this history. I am responsible for each of these and I apologize. My lack of memory, my father’s lack of documentation, the deep history of the agency, and the number of people who contributed in a variety of ways, combined with a lack of time and space make these types of mistakes inevitable.

More importantly there are many, many people who contributed to or supported CWA & Lake Street Real Estate but have been accidently omitted from this history. Their contributions are greatly appreciated and again, the sheer numbers combined with the lack of time and space makes these types of omissions inevitable.

If you were one of the customers, clients, employees, agents, vendors, partners, or friends who were omitted, you are still appreciated. You know who you are, Thank You to all.

Edmund “Tate” Aylward
January 1, 2023