Final wish: Push on to finish Crystal Lake Park gazebo

EFFORT TO COMPLETE GAZEBO WORK at Crystal Lake Park is underway in Harrison. (Gulbrandsen Photo)

EFFORT TO COMPLETE GAZEBO WORK at Crystal Lake Park is underway in Harrison. (Gulbrandsen Photo)

HARRISON — Sam Pitts has always wanted to see a gazebo in Crystal Lake Park, where people could enjoy free music and entertainment during the summer months.

Back in 2005, during Harrison’s bicentennial, Sam donated $7,000 to help construct the gazebo.

A partially-built gazebo now stands in the park.

Sam’s daughters, Donna Barker and Judy McIver, sent out a notice which was reposted on Facebook Tuesday night regarding their dad — known to many as “Mr. Oak” — and his wish to see the project completed.

“Dear Friends of Harrison: Our dad, Sam Pitts is in the final stage of lung cancer. He has but one wish, which is to see the gazebo at Harrison’s Crystal Lake Park completed…Dad has now asked us to follow through with the completion of this project.”

In order to finish the gazebo, approximately $7,900 is needed, which would be used to complete the ceiling, finish trim, install railings, weatherproof the wood, complete painting, and finally landscaping. Evergreen Landscaping from Harrison has kindly donated $500 of their time for the landscaping, the girls wrote.

Judy's son, contractor Justin McIver, plans to start work on the gazebo today (Thursday, April 11).

“My sister and I have started working on making our dad’s wish come true, but we need your help,” Donna wrote.

To help with this project, send a contribution to: Town of Harrison, benefit of the gazebo at Crystal Lake, PO Box 300, Harrison, ME 04040.

For more information, check out the Town of Harrison website: On the left, click “Gazebo.”

According to the town website, one of the goals of the Bicentennial Committee was to construct a gazebo in Crystal Lake Park. The estimated cost of the project was $18,000. The Bicentennial Committee set aside $4,500 to go along with the $7,000 donation. “We are determined to complete this project one way or the other. In the tradition and spirit of the Friendly Village, area contractors have committed to build this and have generously agreed to accept whatever we can pay them,” the website says. “However, we would like to show that same Friendly Village Spirit and try to raise the balance needed to reimburse these dedicated community members for their hard work and generous spirit. We need help to make this happen.”

For more information, contact Martha Merrill
 at 583-2986 or by e-mail at, or Susan Searles-Gazza at 583-6001 or e-mail

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