GOULDSBORO — Susan Spurling had mixed feelings about the “planned burn” of a nearly 150-year-old house in the village of Prospect Harbor July 8. The house being leveled by flames was once hers.
“It’s too sad,” said Susan, who now lives in a tidy ranch home in the neighboring village of Birch Harbor. “I was so happy there. No one ever bothered me there.”
A planned, or control, burn is a fire that is purposely set by firefighters and is often used as a training exercise for younger firefighters.
Firefighters from Gouldsboro, Winter Harbor, Sorrento and Hancock were on hand for the control burn, as well as professional “igniter” firefighters from Levant.
The New England farmhouse with its distinctive multiple roof peaks was purchased by Dr. Annie Weaver, an anesthesiologist from Grand Rapids, Mich., who plans to build a smaller, traditional home on the waterfront property.
Susan, wife of the late Merrill Spurling, lived in the house for 46 years and said she couldn’t afford to keep it up. The structure had deteriorated to the point of being unstable. The roof sagged and leaked.
Every fall, for years, neighbors and friends placed tarps on the failing roof to help Spurling make it through another winter.
The exact age of the structure was difficult to determine, but Susan said she recalls seeing a deed dating the origin of the home back to 1864.