Frenchman Bay Conservancy announces waterfront acquisition



FRENCHMAN BAY CONSERVANCY PHOTO

FRENCHMAN BAY CONSERVANCY PHOTO

HANCOCK — The Frenchman Bay Conservancy is enlarging its Tidal Falls preserve by adding land with 318 feet of water frontage on the Taunton River as well as a house adjacent to the scenic property.

The Tidal Falls Preserve overlooks the channel between Hancock and Sullivan that links Taunton Bay and Frenchman Bay and where powerful tidal currents create unusual reversing falls.

The location is popular for picnics and for the outdoor concerts the conservancy holds throughout the summer at no charge to the public.

The acquisition adds 2.7 acres to the conservancy’s holdings in the preserve, bringing the total parcel to eight acres, said Aaron Dority, the conservancy’s executive director.

The purchase included a red house formerly owned by Lilla Phinney and Frank Hodgkins.

In the last century, the Hodgkins family operated a lobster pound and buying station on the property. Later, they had a seafood take-out restaurant at the location for many years.

“This place is such a popular and accessible destination, and a great illustration of why conservation matters in eastern Maine,” Dority said. “It was a pleasure working with Lilla Phinney and Frank Hodgkins to purchase this property, and we’re excited at the future possibilities for this special place.”

In the late 19th century, the preserve was the site of the Maine Central Railroad ferry between Hancock and Bar Harbor.

Today kayakers paddle the rapids, launching from the conservancy’s parking lot. There are frequent sightings in the area of bald eagles, eiders, kingfishers, seals and other wildlife.

Dority said the purchase marks the beginning of a multi-year effort to improve the preserve, restore portions of the waterfront, and expand upon the educational and stewardship opportunities Frenchman Bay Conservancy offers local communities and out-of-town visitors.

Frenchman Bay Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust that currently conserves 54 properties across 6,600 acres.

The conservancy also maintains 25 miles of year-round public access hiking trails.

Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]