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Downtown Greenville waterfront park named Crafts Landing and Park   

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GREENVILLE — The Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation proudly announces the name of the new waterfront park at 3 Lakeview Street in downtown Greenville – Crafts Landing and Park. Park Planning Committee members Tom Watt, a senior at Greenville High School whose grandparents lived across the street from the park, and EJ Richardson, the property owner and our partner on this project reviewed the history of the property and recommended its name.

 

Historical photos and deeds tie the property first to John Eveleth, an early pioneer of the Moosehead Lake region who, in the 1800s, saw the potential in steamboats that could tow large rafts of logs harvested from the surrounding forests and serve to pick up livestock, supplies, equipment and people and deliver them to the large resorts and small hunting and fishing camps around the lake. He was the sole owner of three steamboats. The steamboat “Rebecca,” named after his daughter Rebecca Crafts, worked from this location. Rebecca was the mother of Julia Crafts, who left her house and an endowment to the Moosehead Historical Society. Julia Crafts envisioned having a public park on Moosehead Lake in Greenville Junction on property that she left to the town of Greenville. Although this did not happen at her intended location, we honor her vision by using the Crafts name in naming the property. 

 

Upon John Eveleth’s death in 1899 the property passed to his second wife, Hattie Eveleth, and then in 1902 to DT and Harry Sanders. The Sanders family over four generations owned the Sanders Store on Lily Bay Road, carrying every imaginable item and outfitting visitors to the region including Henry David Thoreau. In 1983 Earl Richardson and his wife, Avis, purchased the Lakeview Street property. A state legislator and a registered Maine Guide, Richardson founded his popular restaurant, Boom Chain, on the adjacent property on Pritham Avenue and then Moosehead Cable at the southern end of the Lakeview Street property.

 

In 2009 both properties passed to two of their sons, Stuart and EJ, who continued operating several businesses on both properties until 2019. Both the Sanders and Richardson families preserved the Lakeview Street property as an open green space. 

 

“Crafts Landing and Park both honors the families that have owned the property at 3 Lakeview Street over the generations and the historic use of the property as a steamboat and watercraft landing and green space,” say EJ and Tom. 

The Moosehead Lake Regional Economic Development Corporation invites public feedback on the Crafts Landing and Park landscape plan recommended by Steve Doe, landscape architect with Sebago Technics.

 

“This park was envisioned in the Downtown Master Plan commissioned by the town of Greenville and approved by residents at the town meeting in 2019,” says Steve Levesque, president of the MLREDC. “It is part of our effort to help revitalize downtown, drawing more folks to the downtown from around the lake to shop, bank, dine or enjoy periodic musical performances, arts and crafts events, community celebrations or simply relaxing time at the shorefront. We welcome comments and suggestions.” 

 

As the schematic shows, the park’s main entrance on Lakeview Street will feature a paved plaza and identification kiosk. The entry and park perimeter will be enhanced with native planting beds to aid in creating a sense of place and surround. These beds will be low earthen mounds and will incorporate natural boulders in selected locations. A six-foot-wide path will traverse through the park and follow along the shoreline. Benches will be carefully placed to provide sitting areas that offer panoramic views of Moosehead Lake. A dock system will enable both motorized and non-motorized watercraft and seaplanes to access downtown. Additional slips will be added in the years ahead as demand, funding, and harbor safety allow. A designated gateway and an on-site parking spot will be added for snowmobilers to access the town in winter. No permanent structures are proposed for the park. 

 

“We are so delighted to enter the last phase of our project, thanks to our partners – EJ Richardson, the property owner; the Land for Maine’s Future Program; the Forest Society of Maine; and the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council – and the more than 100 individuals, businesses, foundations and board members who have contributed time, talent, and resources,” says Margarita Contreni, MLREDC vice president and co-chair of the Park Planning Committee.

 

“We plan to close on the purchase of the property in June, with site work to begin in the summer. While the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed our final fundraising, we are confident that the site work and landscaping will be completed this summer,” she added. “We will likely postpone the installation of the dock system until the remaining fundraising is complete.” 

 

To share your comments on the landscape plan or involvement in the project, please contact Contreni at westcove@myfairpoint.net.

 

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