The town and the Tremont Historical Society have erected signs denoting the villages within the town, including the village of Center, which borders Mount Desert at the edge of town. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MARK GOOD

Historic village signs placement is debated

TREMONT — The Tremont Historical Society in conjunction with the town recently installed signs denoting the boundaries of the villages within the town, a step that proponents knew might be controversial.

Historical society members knew that there might be disagreement about where the signs are placed. Selectmen, too, discussed the controversial nature of locating the signs at the meeting last October at which they voted to approve the signs. Town Manager Dana Reed made reference to the issue last week at a selectmen’s meeting.

“Our official position is those are not village limit signs,” Reed said. “For better or worse, they’re there.”

According to the historical society’s secretary, Muriel Davisson, there once were signs indicating the villages.

“For historical and practical reasons, we wanted the signs back,” Davisson said.

Davisson said placement of the signs was determined after talking to longtime residents, some of whom were or are postmasters, and from looking at property tax records. There are old maps showing the villages, but the boundaries are not clearly marked, she added.

Historical society members considered whether to place signs closer to the “cluster of homes” in each village or at the village limit.

“We decided to put the signs where we thought the boundary of the village was,” Davisson explained.

Tremont, on the town’s website, recognizes five villages: Bass Harbor, Bernard, West Tremont, Seal Cove and Gotts Island. Further fueling any controversy regarding the signs, the historical society decided to include the village of Center.

“There used to be a sign that said ‘Center,’” Davisson said. “Center used to be part of Tremont. It was among the earliest parts of Tremont.”

Recognizing Center, which is the northernmost village in the town and abuts the Mount Desert line in Pretty Marsh, was the idea of some of the residents in the area, Davisson said.

“People wanted the Center sign back,” she said.

Sign-wise, there is a “no-mans land” between the southern boundary of Bernard and along the Tremont Road to the Bass Harbor sign near McKinley Market, Davisson said. The gap is due to not ordering a third sign to denote entering Bass Harbor from Bernard, she explained. A sign is to be ordered.

The total cost of the signs is $1,216. The historical society contributed $500; installation was done by the town’s public works crew.


Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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