Linda Grant, Yarmouth

Linda Grant of Yarmouth is a hard-working, dedicated, and tireless volunteer. She came to Yarmouth in 1996 and within the span of a few months, joined the Yarmouth Village Improvement Society (VIS) and was asked to serve as Chair of the Preservation Committee.

Today, Linda continues to serve as chair of the committee, where her duties include overseeing the ongoing maintenance and preservation of the Grand Trunk Railroad Station and the Old Baptist Meeting House, seen here.  Constructed in 1796, the Old Meeting House was commissioned as a Baptist church and used for more than 100 years. In 1910, the Meeting House was donated to the town and used for town meetings until 1946, when the Village Improvement Society assumed responsibility for its maintenance.

The 1906 Grand Trunk railroad building was purchased by the Yarmouth VIS in 1946 to save it from demolition after the railroad ceased providing passenger service.  During the VIS-funded rehabilitation of the station in 2007 and 2012, Linda’s research of original building materials and construction methods assured historical accuracy.  During a recent site visit, Maine Preservation Field Services Expert, Chris Closs, noted that “it is the best preserved Grand Trunk Railroad depot in the state.”  Today the building retains its original design and character while housing Village Florist & Company.

In her VIS role Linda has solicited contractors, reviewed bids, and managed projects totaling more than $100,000 over a dozen years.  Linda has been a VIS “committee-of-one” preserving two of Yarmouth’s most valuable architectural treasures.

In addition, she volunteered countless hours to help design a Town Comprehensive Plan that protects the historic village of Yarmouth while planning for its future, and she worked on the Yarmouth Gateways Project from 2006 through 2009. She served on the Royal River Corridor study in 2008 and chaired the 2011 project for the Royal River Park’s interpretive signs.  Linda was Chair of the Yarmouth Historical Society Board during the recent renovation of the former Water Company building, a project which resulted in the new Yarmouth History Center on East Elm Street.  She has also chaired the historical society’s house tours.  

For her many years of dedicated service, in a variety of roles, to the preservation of Yarmouth's historic buildings, Maine Preservation is pleased to present Linda Grant with a 2014 Honor Award for Outstanding Service.

Jacob DiGirolamo, Treewise Arboriculture

In 2013, the Georges River Land Trust was in the process of acquiring portions of the Robbins-Anderson Farm, a parcel of more than 200 acres located in South Thomaston. When Maine Preservation learned that demolition of the historic farmhouse on the property was a possibility, we offered to consult on the property.

We discovered that the house was built about 1795 by the Isaac Robbins family, on land they purchased as the first settlers in South Thomaston thirty years earlier. The Robbins owned the property for more than 100 years. The house was subsequently altered about 150 years ago with removal of the central chimney installation of a staircase, and replacement of the windows with 6 over 6 sashes. Synthetic siding and roofing were added more recently. But otherwise the historic interior of the house is remarkably intact.

Maine Preservation requested and received an option-to-purchase the house and 5 acres from the Anderson family, owners since 1900, in order to market it for resale.  With this option, Maine Preservation listed the house with agent Cindy Lang of Sotheby’s Realty.

Adjoining the house was the overgrown, neglected apple orchard. Annette Naegel of Georges River Land Trust suggested a pruner and, at our request, asked Jacob DiGirolamo if he might volunteer his time to restore the orchard. Jacob agreed to take on the task to, quote, “bring the trees a little closer to something that might be called management,” unquote.

Jacob carefully pruned the old trees and one result was bumper crop of apples in the fall.

Another result is that Maine Preservation has found a buyer for the property, former Rockland Honor Award winner Rick Rockwell. Rick plans to transform the house, outbuildings and barn foundation into a gallery for artists, craftspeople and sculptors from the St. George peninsula, many of whom can no longer afford to show their work in Rockland’s upscale galleries.

For his volunteer work that helped restore and orchard and make the adjoining farmstead saleable, Maine Preservation is please to recognize Jacob DiGirolamo with a 2014 Honor Award as an Outstanding Volunteer.