Bridgton architectural survey underway

If you see someone walking around North or South High Street, the downtown area or Portland Street in Bridgton, or Portland Road carrying a clipboard and a camera, it’s just Bridgton Historical Society volunteers getting started on a survey that will create an inventory of the town’s historic structures and resources.

They will be photographing buildings and filling out survey forms from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, which will be archived and preserved. All activities will be done from the street; volunteers will not go on private property without explicit permission from the landowner.

After the in-town areas described above are surveyed, volunteers will move on to North and South Bridgton, and eventually doing the entire town.

These surveys become part of the Comprehensive Plan and help local government prioritize and plan for town growth and development. They document the built environment at a particular point in time, and identify properties and landscapes that contribute to the character of the town and are worthy of preservation, either through owner encouragement, town ordinances, or financial support.

The volunteers have just completed four training sessions with Christopher Closs of Maine Preservation, learning about architectural styles and how to estimate the age of a building based on its form, style, and materials. The fieldwork will be augmented with research to provide as much specific information as possible.

For more information about these surveys, you can visit the Maine Preservation Commission website at: www.state.me.us/mhpc/architectural_survey/index.html.

The Bridgton Historical Society was founded in 1953 to encourage an appreciation and understanding of the history of the Bridgton community. Narramissic, The Peabody-Fitch Farm, was bequeathed to the Society in 1987.  It features a 1797 house, blacksmith shop, and large barn, known locally as the Temperance Barn, having been built without the assistance of “spirituous liquors.”

The Society also operates an archives and museum in the former fire station at 5 Gibbs Avenue in downtown Bridgton. The museum is open year-round Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m., and other times by chance (look for the open flag) or appointment. It operates with expanded hours in the summer, when Narramissic is also open for tours on a regular schedule.

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