Orland Town Clerk Connie Brown grew up in Orrington, attended Brewer High School, and “summered in Orland since I was 4 years old” at her family’s camp on Alamoosook Lake. She moved to Orland in 1979.
Graduating from the University of Maine with an associate’s degree in plant-and-soil technology, Brown worked with her father, Ernest Larson, at his Greenland Designs in Orland in the 1980s. Brown won her first election as town clerk in 1991; Orland selectmen later made it an appointed position.
The town has changed considerably since Connie and her husband, Matt (the Bangor Public Library network administrator) started raising their son and daughter there. The Orland School closed a while ago, but “there is still a strong sense of community here,” Connie said.
Orland’s population has risen to around 2,250 residents, she noted. Many new residents have “winterized summer places and made them year-round homes. It’s quiet and enjoyable, living here,” Brown said.
She owns Buzy B’z Studio, a craft business for which she makes “woven products.” A United Maine Craftsmen member, she participated in nine craft shows in 2018.
Years ago, Connie and Matt “were involved with the Boy Scouts,” at one point regularly taking “12 youths on an 11-day backpack trip” from a New Mexico base camp, Connie recalled. The Browns have visited the West since then. One particular three-week trip several years ago took them to the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks in Utah, and Grand Tetons and Yellowstone national parks in Wyoming.
Tenting out all but one night during that trip, the Browns experienced America at its best. “The beauty of God’s creation, the mountains, the Grand Canyon, the colors: It’s so different than what we’re used to here” in Maine, Connie said.