After serving 24 years as the Blue Hill town clerk, Etta Perkins greets by first name almost everyone entering her first-floor office at the architecturally striking town hall located at the corner of Main and Union streets.
“There’s not many who walk in that I don’t know — and their families,” Perkins said after helping a resident register his car. Minutes later she welcomed by name a resident arriving to register her vehicle for the first time. The conversation touched on both women’s families, and of the other people she assisted on this sunny morning, Perkins knew every one.
An Ellsworth High School graduate, she grew up in Hancock and with her husband, Donnie, and raised their son and three daughters in Blue Hill. They also have five grandchildren, of whom four live locally.
Perkins started working at Partridge Drug after a daughter entered kindergarten years ago. When a national chain bought the drugstore, Perkins went to work at Blue Hill Hardware then became the town clerk. Debra Boyd is the deputy town clerk, and Rebecca Wilber is the town treasurer.
Often busy with automobile registrations, Perkins does the paperwork and reports required by the state. While summers are the busiest time for her office, “it used to slow down in winter, but it doesn’t now,” she said. “We see people retiring here year-round who were summer residents.”
“We’re pretty much busy all the time,” said Perkins, also the Blue Hill registrar of voters and a notary public.
When not at work, she enjoys being at home with her two Chihuahuas and working outside. Perkins likes to travel; she visits Florida several days “every winter, February or March, and I love it,” especially visiting the flea markets at Fort Myers, she said. Perkins occasionally visits relatives living in Arizona and Texas and plans to visit a brother living in Georgia.