Descended from Joshua Williams, the first settler in Plantation 33 (later Great Pond), Reggie Archer moved to Great Pond with his wife, Joan, in 1982. A member of the Airline Community School board of trustees, he designs and hosts websites through his own business. COURTESY PHOTO

Descendent of original settler returns to his roots



His ancestral roots deeply entwined in Great Pond, Reggie Archer moved there with his wife, Joan, in 1982. Though careers called them away for a while, they returned in the mid-1990s and never left.

Descended from Joshua Williams, Great Pond’s first settler, Archer is the son of Burns Archer (born in Great Pond) and Corrine Boulanger of Old Town. Raised in Bangor and Great Pond, Reggie “spent most of my summers out here with my father’s step grandfather, James Colburn, a lumberman out here in his working days.”

Archer went fishing, swimming or “visiting other people in town, like our local artist, Al Martin.” Jack Norris, who “owned a Jaguar dealership in Bangor and spent some of his time out here at his complex at Great Pond,” employed Burns Archer as a driver.

“He drove Jaguars, of course. At that time the road over from Route 9 was a dirt road, so the dust was flying from the Jaguars’ passage,” Archer recalled.

Participating in football and track at Bangor High School, he “set a record, a little under 22 feet, in the long jump my sophomore year that lasted for 20 years. I tied the record for the hundred-yard dash.”

While working full time, including a period in the late 1960s for Honeywell, Archer attended the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham intermittently before earning his bachelor’s degree in English literature in 1972. He graduated from the University of Maine at Orono in 1991 with a master’s in education, “with a focus on teaching students with severe disabilities.”

Archer offered electronic repair services at Coastal Music in Bangor for several years. “My parents lived out here” when Great Pond, not incorporated until 1981, was known as Plantation 33.

After moving to Great Pond in 1982, the Archers “were here more or less permanently,” he said. “I spent a couple of years teaching out in western Maine, and then we went south for a couple of years, but this was always the home base.”

“From the foundation hole to the top of the chimney, my wife and I built this house ourselves,” starting “around 1983,” Archer said. He and his brother borrowed a skidder to haul out “mature spruce” logs harvested on family land.

“We had a portable sawmill come up from Ellsworth,” Archer recalled. “An interesting contraption: It was driven by a Volkswagen engine. We paid [the operator] for the lumber by the board foot.

“We kept the house while away, and we always came back here,” he said. “Why? Probably some kind of psychic imprinting involving the land, the clean fresh air, the rough countryside. This is not a pastoral countryside; it’s a rugged countryside

“My wife loves it out here; we have room for a garden,” Archer said.

He and Joan “arrived back here for good around 1995-1996. I was a selectman at one point. I am still on the board of trustees for the Airline Community School.”

Through his business, eMaineHosting LLC, Archer designs and hosts websites, “mostly in Maine, New Hampshire,” and “I’ve had clients in Vermont.” He also has “a number of pro-bono websites for charitable organizations,” such as Maine Search and Rescue Dogs.

His website is emainehosting.com.

Familiar with Great Pond’s woods and waters, Archer used to fish “until reports came out about mercury” in fish caught in the area. “I used to hunt, but I shot a deer, and that was the last of it.”

He enjoys living in Great Pond, Hancock County’s smallest municipality in terms of population. There’s all the privacy you want out here. It’s a quiet life,” and he likes “the simplicity of daily life in the area.”

 

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