News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, October 7, 2021
Blue Hill couple offers small plot of land to town
On Mill Pond side of Falls Bridge Road

Shoreline donation

Caroline and Groves Herrick want to donate a small parcel of shoreline property on the Mill Pond side of Falls Bridge Road to the Town of Blue Hill.

Photo by Jeffrey B. Roth Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Jeffrey B. Roth

The owners of a small piece of land located on the Mill Pond side of Mill Island, along Falls Bridge Road, near the bridge, want to donate the shorefront lot to the Town of Blue Hill.

During the October 4 meeting of the Blue Hill select board, Shawna Ambrose, town administrator, said Groves and Caroline Herrick, long-time Blue Hill residents, offered to donate the approximately .10-acre property to the town. In addition to its historic significance, the lot provides access to Salt Pond.

“The assessed value [of the lot] has not been determined,” Ambrose said. “This will continue to offer water access to the Salt Pond for both recreational and commercial use. The Town needs to vote to accept real estate, so if the board takes Mr. Herrick up on his generous offer, it will need to be included in the warrant for April’s Town Meeting. However, I believe the select board is interested in the property and will table this until the April meeting.”

Ambrose added: “Not many towns have the opportunity of being gifted shore-front property that can be accessible by the public. I would say we are very lucky to have someone who wants to donate a parcel of land that can be used” for those purposes.

Groves Herrick, in a telephone interview, said Mill Island, which is located at the outlet from Salt Pond and the upper Blue Hill Bay, was the site of the first settlement at Blue Hill. In the early 1700s, there were two tide-powered mills—a corn mill and a lumber mill, built near the causeway to the island.

“I’ve also been talking to the historical society and the [Blue Hill] Heritage Trust about taking the land,” Herrick, an engineer and a former faculty member at the Maine Maritime Academy, said. “Actually, it’s less than a tenth of an acre, for all practical purposes, because about a third of it is highway right-of-way. A lot of people go swimming there and they leave their boats there.”

Herrick said he didn’t want to keep paying real estate taxes on the property. He noted that the property “isn’t worth anything to me, but it might be worth something” to the town.