Hancock Man’s Intricate Chests Catch the Eye


HANCOCK — Motorists traveling along the Washington Junction Road can’t help but notice the intricate boxes under construction by William Carroll.

With his chandelier earrings, top knot and chest en plein air, Carroll makes an interesting sight all on his own.

But a closer look at what he is doing reveals boxes with intricate inlaid patterns that gave a visiting mathematician pause.

“He told me that if he could show his students these boxes it would explain a lot about math,” Carroll said.

Carroll said he has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder for 30 years resulting from an injury sustained while training in the military.

Making the boxes, he said, relaxes him.

The boxes resemble traditional hope chests and come in three sizes — large, medium and small.

The handcrafted containers are made of a variety of wood ranging from mahogany, birch plywood, pine, maple and oak.

The geometric designs are inserted in contrasting shades of wood. Some are herringbone patterns and all are very geometric.

Carroll said the boxes take him between five and 17 days to complete, depending on the size and the pattern.

He said one large box in a herringbone pattern cost him $250 in materials alone. Even if he charges $800 for the box, Carroll said, he is making about $5 an hour.

A native of Massachusetts, he said he has been homeless three times.

Carroll has lived in Hancock for four years.

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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]
Jacqueline Weaver

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