What to do about a toll bridge between Mount Desert Island and Trenton was on the agenda for the March 1917 Bar Harbor town meeting. IMAGE COURTESY OF COLLECTION OF EARL BRECHLIN

Historical records: Bar Harbor town meeting

By Deborah Dyer, director, Bar Harbor Historical Society

From the March, 1917, Bar Harbor Times

The stage is all set for Bar Harbor’s annual town meeting, the largest and longest in the state. The warrant, which contains 92 articles, will be found in the annual report.

Rarely has the political situation been so quiet and with so few contests as is the case this year. The town government seems to have been reduced to a business-like system, and there is a marked absence of the old time campaigning.

For the seven positions on the board of selectmen, 10 candidates have filed nomination papers. Of these, six are the members of the old board, Julian Emery, Joseph Stevens, Henry Lawford, Charles Green, Ernesto Fabbri and George B. Dorr. Max Franklin, one of the members of the present board, announced a short time ago that he would not be a candidate for re-election. The other candidates are George Berry, Frank Nash, Eugene Leland and Bion Whitney.

The other positions where contests occur are for member of the board of assessors, with Wyman Wadleigh and Horace Wakefield as candidates, and for member of the road commission for which the candidates are John Preble and Walter Sargent, the retiring member.

Frank Whitmore, the retiring member of the school board, has no opposition as his own successor, nor has James Emery, nominated for the 1 year term caused by the resignation of Mrs. Marietta Sweeney. Horatio Wakefield will be probably unopposed for moderator and W.H. Sherman for town clerk, while Charles Paine has no opposition for town treasurer, collector of taxes and overseer of the poor.

Harold Carter, agent of town school fund, Fred Hadley, auditor and Roy Hamor, Chief of the fire dept., have no opposition. The prospects are that the first day of town meeting will be rather a quiet one.

The first 24 articles of the warrant are more or less routine ones. Article 25 asks for repairs of the Heald building, while repairs are also asked for on the high school building. Several articles come up in connection with the Town Hill school, asking for the establishment of a free high school there, an enlargement of the school house so that a four years high school course may be established there, and an article asking for the draining of the basement in that building. The town is also asked to authorize the conveyance of high school pupils and to make an appropriation for that purpose.

The reconstruction of a number of roads is asked for, including the road leading from Town Hill to the Mount Desert line; the Harden Farm road; Main Street from Livingston Road to Cromwell Harbor Road; Eden Street from Cottage Street to Duck Brook Bridge; the Otter Creek Road from the top of Dorr’s hill to the Mount Desert line.

Concrete bridges are asked for on the Harden Farm Road, Schooner Head, and two on the Great Meadow Road. Sidewalks are asked for on the east side of Holland Avenue from Cottage Street to West Street; the northern side of Cottage Street from the high school lot to Miss Bowdoin’s garage entrance’ on Kebo Street from Trviot Cottage to Cromwell Harbor Road. The town is also asked to widen the bridge on Eagle Lake Road near the junction of Forest Street, and to widen the Eagle Lake Road from Arcadia Cottage to General Morrell’s entrance.

Other articles are to see if the town will authorize the road commission to buy a truck; to repair the town stable; to take care of the athletic field, and to buy a book typewriter for use in the assessor’s office.

An ornamental light is asked for at the junction of Malvern Hill Road and Kebo Street, and a light at the corner of Park Road and Ledgelawn Avenue.

A sum of money to be used in advertising the town and the designation of its expenditure is asked for and it is proposed that the entire amount be raised by taxation this year, and not by taxation and subscription.

The municipal coal and wood yard project which came up last year will also be taken care of this year, and the town is asked to buy the Spratt lot for a sum not exceeding $21,000, and to appoint a committee composed of the selectmen and three citizens for this purpose.

A sworn town weigher is asked for, and the installation of town hay scales. Other matters asked for the reimbursement of the committee appointed at the last meeting to investigate the Trenton Toll Bridge matter; the purchase of a lot of land and the erection of a suitable municipal court room and police station; to establish a rate of $2.75 per day per man for labor, $7.00 per day for double teams and $4.50 for single teams for all town work; the try-out of the J.C. Farrell patent hose couplings; an ordinance prohibiting the throwing of paper and other refuse in the street; the advisability of purchasing a motor combination chemical and hose wagon for the fire dept.; and ordinance in reference to the digging up of sidewalks and highways; and designating the standing places of automobiles and carriages for hire.

Taken altogether, it promises to give the voters several days of oratory and business. Everything is now ready for the meeting.

To find out more about Bar Harbor history, visit www.barharborhistorical.org.