An update on the Old Jail

Dear Editor:

In reference to the article in the Feb. 10 edition “Old jail’s future no clearer after meeting,” the Ellsworth Historical Society (EHS) board met on Monday, Feb. 7, to fully endorse the efforts of a dedicated subcommittee of Historical Society members to pursue the state, federal and community support necessary to obtain funding to restore the Old Hancock County Sheriff’s Home and Jail. Funding opportunities have recently been allocated for buildings exactly like the Old Jail. The state of Maine recognizes the key role that buildings on the National Historic Register play in keeping town history and cultural history alive and vibrantly connected to the current residents’ interests, businesses and livelihoods.

The Old Jail Preservation Subcommittee of the Historical Society is planning an initial phase that will address repairs to the exterior of the building and mitigate the ingress of water. They will continue to develop community engagement projects and set the stage for further development of EHS archival and living history museum opportunities in the building. None of this detracts from our other projects archiving materials and educating the public, but we are happy to be able to dedicate the needed effort to pull together the resources to restore the Old Jail.

We welcome community members to visit our website to learn more ( We are gathering community support to move the project forward, so please reach out if you wish to be involved. A donation button has been established on our website for those who wish to contribute to the Old Jail specifically or the mission of the Ellsworth Historical Society in general.

Bill Fogle, president, Ellsworth Historical Society

Carla Haskell, licensed architect/president, Design Group Collaborative

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