Orland Select Board Chair Edward Rankin Sr. grew up in Bucksport, graduated from Bucksport High School, and went to work as a millwright at the St. Regis Paper Company mill in Bucksport. “I was there for 28 years,” only interrupting his mill employment “to run my garage (Ed’s Automotive on Route 46 in Bucksport) for nine years,” he said.
Rankin, who retired from Verso Paper in 2008, opened Ed’s Automotive 44 years ago. “I built my big garage in ’89 and hired employees,” he said. A Bucksport town councilor, he moved to Orland in 1977 and won election to the select board in the late 1990s. He has been the board chair nine years.
Rankin and his wife, Margaret, have a daughter, Holly, and two sons, Edward Rankin Jr. and Jeff, all of whom attended Bucksport High. Ed Sr. and Margaret enjoy spending time with their seven grandchildren.
“I drag race, and I fix up a few cars for myself,” Rankin said. Driving a 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix, he competes in Gassah Guys racing, “the flag-start, old school racing” at Winterport Dragway, “a very nice facility,” Rankin commented.
He won several times at Winterport Dragway in 2018.
Orland has dealt with recent challenges, Rankin observed. “We had the school [closure] a few years ago,” but rather than shutter the school, the town redeveloped it as the Orland Community Center. “It’s doing very well” with several tenants, including a fully equipped fitness center with more than 800 members, Rankin said.
“Our biggest thing recently was the transfer station,” opened on the Gray Meadow Road in July 2018, Rankin said. “The speed issues on Route 46” are being addressed, and “the town’s going pretty good.”