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Where our story begins.

Tom Upham was on his way home from working as a ski salesman in New York late one night.

As he crested Jay Hill, the Northern Lights were glowing all across the sky.

He stopped his car, looked around him in awe,

and knew at that very moment that him and his wife, Judy, were going to create their own business, and regardless of what they would sell, the name of their company would be

"Northern Lights".

Strangely enough, 50 years later, ALMOST TO THE DAY, the Northern Lights appeared in the night sky again!


Tom and Judy Upham at their Farmington location in 1985

That early summer, Tom and Judy were staying and working at a girl's summer camp near Sebago Lake. The place was in need of a wood stove, so Tom went in search of one.

Jotul found it's way into their hearts, and soon enough, their home entryway became their "showroom".

They started advertising on the local radio station and newspapers, quickly spreading the word.

In 1975, they moved the company into a building in Wilton, where they also sold sailboats, kayaks, canoes, skis, etc.

During this time, they also became the only distributor for Jotul stoves in Maine,

selling to five different companies.

Business was picking up, and Tom had his sights on a better location in Farmington. After many phone calls and conversations later, they were finally able to move in. Employees became a need, and that's where we meet Marty Farnum.

Marty started working for Northern Lights in 1978, not knowing anything about wood stoves. He quickly started learning how they operated and how to sell stoves. For the next 15-20 years, he poured himself into learning more and more and gained an immense amount of knowledge about any stove you could think of. His installation and servicing skills became unmatched.

In the early 1990's, his future partner, Todd Richard, started working for the Upham's, as well. His knowledge of skis and bikes gained him a position at Northern Lights. After he was hired, he also learned all about stoves, installations and servicing.

In 1994, Tom's health was pushing his hand to sell the company, after owning it for 30 years. A developer from Rite Aid wanted to buy the prime location from him, so he decided it was the perfect time to sell.


Marty & Todd's Logo

After some deliberation, Marty and Todd decided to become partners in the company, moving all of the inventory out of the current location onto Front Street in downtown Farmington.

The men basically started from scratch with their company, but it didn't matter. Over the years, the Upham's had been building a staunch reputation in the community. People still wanted to continue doing business with them. 

After a decade in this location, they wanted to expand the business. Northern Lights moved to their permanent location across town, at 639 Wilton Road in Farmington. Marty and Todd formed many lasting business and personal relationships over the 30+ years while they owned the company. They knew that in order to make customers happy, you have to put the customer first.

Customers were on repeat and the customer base was overflowing. 


Marty Farnum & Todd Richard at the current location

Fast forward to 2007- Josh Bell was in search of a new job. He just happened to walk into Northern Lights to inquire about a job. He was willing to do anything they needed. Even though they weren't necessarily looking to hire, they hired him. Josh became one of their stove technicians. He was trained by a skilled and well-seasoned technician. After a few years, he was able to become a lead technician, as well.  

14 years later, Marty and Todd were ready to sell the company and retire. In January of 2021, Josh, and his wife, Alicia, became the third owners of Northern Lights. 


January 15, 2021

Marty and Todd stayed with the company for almost three more years, working part time for them. The transition was almost too easy. Having Josh's knowledge about the products sold, serviced, and installed, plus having the years of Marty and Todd's knowledge, it all greatly impacted Alicia's learning curve in the business.

Northern Lights originated with Tom Upham selling Nordic skis, and shortly after, becoming a Jotul stove distributor.

50 years later, the business has grown immensely with many other products and services, but we still sell Nordic skis and Jotul wood stoves.

Quality has greatly changed and progressed throughout the years, but we're still keeping Tom and Judy's dream alive.


Josh and Alicia Bell

Here at Northern Lights, we strive to carry only high quality products that mostly include excellent warranties. It makes us happy knowing when our customers purchase anything from us, they, in turn, will be happy with the product. If not, we will do everything we can to fix that. We rely on our customers, so it only makes sense to make sure they're satisfied with what we sell. 


Northern Lights Maine, Inc. 2022

639 Wilton Road in Farmington, Maine

For 50 years, our attention to detail and reputation has proceeded us.

Thanks to Tom and Judy Upham, Marty Farnum, Todd Richard, and now Josh and Alicia Bell,

this legacy will continue for years to come. 

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