Originally from Ellsworth, Nora Sargent Garland played basketball in grammar school and attended Ellsworth High School and Mount Desert Island High School. She and her husband, Robert Garland, moved to Fletchers Landing (then Township 8) “a little over 40 years ago.
“I just love it up there,” Nora said. From her Hummingbird Lane home, “it’s all open across from me” to the Graham Lake shore, and “I get beautiful sunsets.
“It’s quiet. We’re far enough out of town so we don’t get all the traffic,” and “the taxes are so cheap,” Nora commented.
“I love the lake,” she said, noting that “it’s been drained down” and that “it’s hard to swim up there. You come out dirtier than you go in.
“We have services just like Ellsworth does,” Nora said. “We just have to go different places for those services.” For state and federal elections, Fletchers Landing residents vote in Ellsworth. “We have to go to the [Hancock] county courthouse to register our cars,” and the Land Use Regulatory Commission issues building permits, she said.
“I wouldn’t live anywhere else,” said Nora, who has a direct ancestral connection with Fletchers Landing through Township 8’s first settlers, Howard Colwell and Iris Gertrude Fletcher. They were Nora’s great-great-great grandparents.
Nora was named for a great-grandmother, Nora Fletcher, who married Ralph Sargent. Nora’s grandparents were Raymond Fletcher Sargent and Viola Sargent.
After serving as a county commissioner, Walter Bunker “did real estate, and then he became the Unorganized Territories supervisor,” Nora said. Bunker held that position “when they decided to do the 9-1-1 change” in the Unorganized Territories.
“My address before we had the change for 9-1-1 was HC 31, Box 58,” with an Ellsworth ZIP code, she recalled.
Responsible for implementing UT-wide address changes, Bunker needed assistance. His wife, Karen, “told him to call me because she knew me through real estate” sales,” Nora recalled.
Karen told Walter that Nora “lives up there” in Township 8, “and she can help you.”
Bunker contacted Nora, asked her to help with the 9-1-1 change, “and we banged it out in a day!” Nora said. Walter and Nora proceeded through Township 8, identifying every residence and assigning new addresses based on road names.
County commissioners then hired Nora as the UT supervisor’s administrative assistant. She entered the 9-1-1 address data for Fletchers Landing into a computer “and wrote the letters to everybody to let them know their new addresses.” Township 8 became Fletchers Landing, and side roads gained official names.
Nora “worked for Walter for a couple of years.” They conducted 9-1-1 address changes in other townships; Nora recalled pushing a surveyor’s wheel along roads in Township 22 and elsewhere to mark addresses.
And there were other adventures.
At the Airline Snack Bar on Route 9 in Township 22, “we provided them with a dumpster if we could put three dumpsters on their property” for use by township residents, Nora said.
Suddenly the dumpsters started overflowing with large trash bags, many more than Township 22’s year-round population would likely produce. Walter Bunker finally investigated, and to Nora went the unenviable task of donning rubber gloves and inspecting the bags’ contents.
Among other items, she found large retail bags filled with doughnuts, not a half or full dozen, but doughnuts galore. “Who buys that amount of doughnuts?” Nora asked, wrinkling her nose at the memory.
In the end Hancock County removed the Township 22 dumpsters, and residents now haul their trash.
Bunker stepped down as the UT supervisor after a few years. “I was on my own for a year or two” before resigning as the administrative assistant, Nora said.
She became a real estate agent at the suggestion of her cousin, Kiki Katsiaficas. After passing the state test and getting her sales agent’s license, Nora started worked for Katsiaficas Agencies in January 1998. She sold real estate “for 12 to 15 years” before leaving that profession.
The Garlands have two sons, Torrey and Ethan, and Nora has three stepchildren and six step-grandchildren. She and Robert have a camp in Township 35, and “we like to go for rides,” she said. “We hang out around home. Sometimes we go on vacations,” especially to Florida, and the Garlands have visited Cancun, Mexico.