A phone call brought Castine Town Manager James “Jimmy” Goodson and his wife, Sue, to visit Castine in 1991. After vacationing there for the better part of the next decade, the day came that they decided not to leave.
An Alabama native, Goodson graduated from Auburn University with an architectural degree, worked as an architect for seven years, and then earned a master’s degree in architecture with a concentration in real estate development from SUNY at Buffalo.
Sue’s parents “called in 1990 right after our son [Colin] was born” and reported “they had discovered a quaint village” named Castine, Goodson said. He and Sue visited Castine the next year and returned often afterward.
“We learned a week wasn’t long enough” to enjoy the town and the surrounding region, Goodson said. The family lived in Castine from 2002-2003 while he “ran a virtual office” between his home and his out-of-state employer. The Goodsons ultimately built a home in Castine, and Jimmy later worked for Orono-based American Campus Communities and then as the Habitat for Humanity executive director in Ellsworth.
Goodson volunteered on different town boards before becoming town manager in 2014. Working out of the centrally located town offices in Emerson Hall on Court Street, he enjoys the village’s beauty, serenity, past and people.
“Historic preservation was my connected passion,” he said. “Being an architect, just to walk around Castine and see the village is so intact; to me it’s like walking back in history,” from the Revolutionary-era Fort George atop the peninsula’s spine to the well-maintained 19th-century buildings found throughout the village.
The Goodsons raised Colin and their daughter, Margaret, “on Neck,” as locals call the peninsula. “I just love the atmosphere here,” Jimmy said. “It was idyllic for our kids growing up.”