Jacqueline Weaver

Control Burn in Prospect Harbor Stirs Memories for Former Homeowner

Jacqueline Weaver
About 150 people lined Main Street in the Gouldsboro village of Prospect Harbor for several hours as firefighters burned down a nearly 150-year-old home.

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.


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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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