Meet the Wenham Man Who Makes the Coffee at 2:45 a.m. Each Morning

Can't sleep? Come meet Donald Costin for coffee at Henderson's at 2:45 a.m.

Author's note: I interviewed Donald Costin outside the stores at 300 Main St. We had some coffee and chatted at one of the outdoor tables. Many people came and went during our interview and everybody said hello to Don. Don is always dressed to perfection. You will see in the photo he is wearing a confederate jacket. Don bought this jacket on one of his trips to Gettysburg. He had it special ordered because he wanted four pockets like his vests. The buttons each have CSA on the them, standing for Confederate States of America. He also owns a blue union jacket with eagles on the buttons.

Name: Donald Costin

Age: 82

Street: 300 Main St., Wenham
Occupation: Owns shops and restaurant at 300 Main St.

Hobbies/interests: Old cars, fire trucks, antique trucks and collecting antiques.

What are you passionate about? Things come and go over the years. If I see something I really want I buy it. I bought a piece of a steam engine the other day. I also read a lot of history books and owns 10,000 books. I am also interested in politics and people's involvement.

What is advice would you give younger generation? I feel bad for them. It is hard to get started in a business now a days. It is harder to get loans. I stared a business in 1948 by the time I was 20 and I had 10 people working for me. It is harder for today's generation. I recommend getting into the trades; plumber, electrician, or repairing cars.
What are some of your talents? I have a talent of collecting antiques and running auctions. I owned one of the first three companies in Massachusetts. I bought in 1968 and bought Henderson & Herdon tree company in 1971.

What has been your favorite store? I had a antique shop in the main building.

What is/was your favorite journey? I traveled to Ireland a couple of times, and last summer went to fire truck shows all over the country. I travel to at least 10 or 12 place a year, such as Colorado and Michigan.

Who is your favorite local resident? Steward Corning, who moved to and , plus others. It is hard to pick one person out.

What obstacle have you overcome? Changing these garages into stores. There was lots of aggravation with permits and changing it over to stores. The stores at 300 Main have been here for 27 years. Before they were stores they were truck sheds.

How long have you lived in Hamilton-Wenham? 1990. There was a freight house built out back of 300 Main in the civil war time and I turned it into a house.

What is your favorite place in Hamilton-Wenham? is magnificent to look at the design.

What is an a fact about you that most don’t know? Probably that I am a little opinionated.

Where would someone see you around town? At 2:45 am I open the . A couple of regulars often meet me there at that time. Another group comes in around 5:30 a.m. and another at 8:30 a.m. The group Enough is Enough often meets at the coffee shop. I love the old-time feeling of the local coffee shop where people can share their political ideas.

Which local services and programs do you support? I used to be a selectman, on the Board of Health and have been Wenham’s rep for the MBTA for 17 years.

What do you think should be done with the donated land from Joanne Patton? Something to memorialize Gen. Patton. I have been out to Roosevelt’s house and to Gettysburg, if you are into history people would like to visit something to memorialize him.

What change would you like to see in Hamilton-Wenham? It would be nice if there was a little bit more connection between people. I remember when Peter Carns and Bill McKenzie worked in town. They interacted with the residents. I wish we had more of that. I do see Jeff Hubbard around town.

What do you love about Hamilton-Wenham? The does a wonderful job putting out flags for holidays and at Christmas in Hamilton.

Jay Burnham April 03, 2012 at 09:45 AM
Don is a true gentleman. He always greets you with a sincere hello and a pat on the back and he would do anything to help a friend. No wonder he has so many.


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