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Land Conservation Case Study: Frenchman Bay Conservancy

Herrick & Salsbury, Inc. was engaged by the Frenchman Bay Conservancy, a local land conservation organization based in Hancock, Maine to survey one of the last remaining large, undeveloped tracts of land fronting the tidal section of the Union River which flows from downtown Ellsworth to where it meets the ocean at Union River Bay.

This parcel, known as the Jordan Homestead, was historically used by the Jordan family for about 200 years going back many generations, for farming, hay, and wood harvesting. The property is bordered by the Union River to the west, Whittaker Brook to the north, and Bayside Road on the east.

There is a small cemetery along the Bayside Road where many generations of local families are laid to rest as early as the 1780s. Some of the family names include Jordan, Maddocks, Tinker, and Whittaker.

We were asked to document the boundary line locations and determine an acreage of the property. Boundary evidence and any suggestion of occupation along the southerly boundary was not evident as the lot had been split between two Jordan brothers in 1995, each brother getting one-half of the original lot. The Jordan family had owned on both sides of the southern boundary line for many years and had not established or maintained a visible boundary line or had built a traditional wall or fence along the boundary line.

Our final analysis of the boundary lines determined an acreage, the distance along the shore frontage, the amount of road frontage, and new metes and bounds legal description was completed for the new deed to the client. We also prepared a plan showing the results of our survey.

The Frenchman Bay Conservancy acquired the property using the results of our survey work and created a beautiful space for the public to use and enjoy. A parking lot and trails were created along with a kiosk at the parking lot.

We find it rewarding to survey the conservation land, knowing the land is going to be preserved for generations to come. The analogy is the original development of Acadia National Park. Many of the locals were staunchly opposed to George Dorr and John D. Rockefeller buying up the land with the goal of creating a national park, now several generations later can you imagine Mount Desert not having Acadia Park? Now we have modern visionaries such as the Frenchman Bay Conservancy, Nature Conservancy of Maine, and the Maine Coast Heritage Trust building and creating new sanctuaries for the next generations to enjoy!

It’s significant to us to be a small part of the process of preserving these important pieces of land and heritage sites. Surveyors and land trust staff all seemingly love the outdoors and love walking the land so we have much in common already. We very much enjoy working with the local land trust staff members on these monumental projects. We take great pride knowing that Herrick & Salsbury, Inc. will forever be memorialized in the deeds and on the survey plans.


Image provided by French Bay Conservancy