Historical

This page will have historical stuff.  Send me your tid bits!

Contents:
    Ellsworth American story about one of our beloved past Post Mistresses [2002]

To start things off - here is the text from a "Welcome to Hancock Point" brochure apparently last edited by Mary Omeara in June of 1987. [Ned Peirce May 11, 2013]

WELCOME to HANCOCK POINT

 

The Hancock Point Village Improvement Society welcomes you, whether old-timer or newcomer, and offers this leaflet to give you a bit of the background of the Society and to explain the services and facilities it provides.

 

What is Hancock Point?

In a recent Guide to the State of Maine, Hancock Point is described as a summer colony where one may enjoy spectacular views of the islands of Frenchman Bay and the Mount Desert mountains.  Most new arrivals soon discover that there is something beyond location that makes Hancock Point a special place, causing first-time visitors to return and accounting for the fact that many older residents have been returning since early childhood.

 

Beginnings

Hancock Point originated as a summer colony on Crabtree Neck during the 1870’s when the McFarland House, later named the Tarratine Hotel, was opened.  A steamboat wharf was built in 1876, a steamer that ran between Sullivan and Rockland made the Point accessible to people from farther south.  There were half a dozen cottages at the end of the Point by 1881, and that year Colby’s Almanac noted: “Crabtree Neck is attracting considerable attention as a pleasant and healthful resort.”

            In 1883, the Hancock Land Company registered a plan of cottage lots at Hancock Point, designating areas on the east and west shores as reservations for use in common and a lot off the main road as a church lot.  The first passenger train arrived at Mt. Desert Ferry in June, 1884; for many years thereafter Hancock Point was a regular stop for the ferryboats taking train passengers to resorts on Mt. Desert Island and along the Bay.

            Early in this century there were two tutoring camps at the Point: one sponsored by Princeton; the other by the Philips Academies at Andover and Exeter.  The parents and grandparents of some of today’s residents came here first as summer students or teachers.

 

Origin of the Hancock Point Village Improvement Society

            In 1904, when the community was about one-fourth its present size, a common and compelling need to arrange for the proper disposal of garbage and trash prompted the formation of the Hancock Point Village Improvement Society.  The cottagers joined the new Society with enthusiasm.  Soon there were requests for other services and suggestions for facilities to add to the pleasure of a summer vacation.

            Over the years, members have been generous in giving of their time, talents, and means to provide amenities and make life more pleasant for residents of the Pont and because of their efforts, past and present, the Society can offer a broad range of services and facilities today.

 

Current HPVIS Facilities and Services

TENNIS:  Tennis has always been a favored sport at Hancock Point.  Long before the present courts were built, the HPVIS was sponsoring an annual tennis tournament and providing cups for the winners.  Most matches were played on private courts, and the cost of trophies was defrayed by the Tennis Ball, a gala affair held at the Tarratine Hotel in late August.

            First the depression and then World War II caused the young population to dwindle and private courts to be abandoned.  Soon after the war, however, a new and growing generation of tennis players returned, and the Society raised funds to build two courts on the site of an old town court.  As the population increased and interest in tennis flourished, two more courts were built on donated land across the road.  Recently, more land has been donated for a parking space.

            Fees for use of the courts are charged by the day, week, month or season.  Payment should be made to the Treasurer of the HPVIS.  As these fees barely cover the cost of routine maintenance, contributions to meet the periodic expense of improvements and replacement of equipment are welcomed.

 

WATERFRONT FACILITIES:  When train ferry services came to an end in 1931 the sturdy old wharf and slip maintained by the Maine Central Railroad fell into disrepair; soon there were only hazardous heaps of ballast and decaying pilings to mark its past.  The HPVIS moved in, raised funds to purchase the land and boathouse and erected a pier and float to serve residents of the Point and Hancock.

            The Society employs a Harbormaster, maintains the wharf in safe condition, and provides two guest moorings for visitors.  The use of the wharf and floats for fishing, swimming and sunset-viewing is free.  Use of the floats for boating and mooring or storing dinghies is subject to a fee, which should be paid to the treasurer.

 

SAILING:  In 1967, the HPVIS initiated a sailing program, purchasing a small fleet of centerboard Seagulls and employing a Sailing Master to instruct beginners.  In 1970, the Hancock Point Yacht Club was established, under the sponsorship of the HPVIS, and the old boathouse was renovated to serve as a clubhouse and as a classroom for budding mariners on stormy days.

 

            In subsequent years, the sailing programs expanded from Seagulls to Day Sailers, and more recently to keel Mercuries.  Daily morning instruction for 10- to 16-year-olds is enjoyed by children from the Hancock Point and Hancock communities, and twice weekly there are afternoon sessions for adults.  Sailing Program students and HPVIS members enjoy weekly races among themselves and with neighboring yacht clubs.  Enrollment in the sailing program can be arranged by the week or month.

            A highlight of the Yacht Club season is the annual Blueberry Pancake Breakfast offered at the clubhouse the third Saturday in August.

 

REFUSE DISPOSAL:  At residents’ request (and payment) the HPVIS arranges for collection of their bagged garbage twice a week from mid-June to mid-September.  Property owners who rent their homs are asked to inform their tenants of this service, which may be paid for by the month or season.  Other methods of trash disposal are discouraged because of the dangers of fire and pollution.  Trash bags should be placed back from the road, and Hancock Pointers, young and old, are encouraged to keep the Point clean by picking up any litter by the roadside.

 

FIRE PROTECTION: The threat of fire has always been a serious concern at Hancock Point.  In 1954, the Society purchased an old fire engine and maintained it in a barn near the Post Office.  This led in turn to the establishment of the Town of Hancock Volunteer Fire Association a capable and dedicated force, which the HPVIS and its members help support through tax-deductible contributions.

            A fire permit is required for any open fire on the Point, and the HPVIS makes available a summary of fire regulations for guidance of residents and their guests and tenants.

 

POLICE PROTECTION:  In 1973, the Town of Hancock voted to establish a Special Volunteer Police Patrol, the activities of which have substantially improved security in Hancock and Hancock Point.  Dedicated volunteers patrol the roads year-round in a radio-equipped cruiser and may be reached by calling 422-3388.

            The Society and its members contribute to the Police Patrol, donations are tax deductible.

 

WINTER INSPECTION:  Homeowners find it useful to arrange for regular winter property inspections by a caretaker so they can be advised promptly of any damage caused by severe storms, falling trees or other accident.

 

CAREFUL DRIVING is essential on the Point.  There are no sidewalks, and walkers, bicyclists, children and their pets use the road rightfully.  Driving at an easy speed ca prevent catastrophe; it will also reduce wear and tear on the roads and keep down the dust in unpaved sections.

 

VILLAGE GREEN and PLAYING FIELD:  After the general store at Hancock Point went out of business in 1954, the HPVIS purchased the property, tore down he building and laid out the Village Green and private road around the Post Office.

            The Society maintains this property and keeps the Ned Bell Playing Field (on donated land east of the tennis courts) mowed and playable.

 

TOWN RELATIONS: Hancock Point is an integral part of the Town of Hancock.  The Town makes and annual contribution toward maintenance of the wharf, and we enjoy close and cooperative relations with the Town regarding fire, police, sailing program, Hancock Days celebrations and other matters.  Property owners pay taxes to the Town, the HPVIS is represented at Town Meetings, and year-round resident members serve on Committees that affect life at the Point.

 

Other Facilities at Hancock Point

THE LIBRARY:  In addition to the benefits provided by the HPVIS, the community maintains a well-stocked, open-shelf library and employs a librarian during the summer months.  Books may be withdrawn or perused in a comfortable reading room.  There are many excellent books for children and a separate children’s reading room.  The Library is supported by membership dues and contributions.

 

THE CHAPEL:  Services are held each Sunday in July and August.  Preachers summering at Hancock Point or nearby are invited to conduct services; many of these ministers serve prominent metropolitan parishes in the winter.  The Chapel is non-denominational and is maintained by service collections and donations.

 

THE POST OFFICE: A U.S. Post office was established at Hancock Pont in 1882 and for generations has been an informal focal point of community life here.  Today, as a substation of the Hancock Post Office, our Post Office is open from mid-June to mid-September.  As its continued existence depends on the size of its business, patrons are urged to mail letters, cards and packages from Hancock Pont and to buy their winter supply of stamps here before they leave.

 

Membership in the HPVIS

            You need not be a property owner or even a resident of Hancock Point to become a member of the Hancock Point Village Improvement Society.  Any person fifteen years of age or older is eligible for membership on payment of annual dues.  Al those who use any of the Society’s services or facilities are asked to pay the appropriate fees and are also cordially invited to join the Society.

            Membership in the HPVIS entitles you to a say and a vote at the Annual Meeting.  It may also entail some of the generosity and effort required to keep Hancock Point a special place.  Because fees charged for use of its services do not cover their actual cost, the Society depends on membership dues and donations to maintain, improve and add to its facilities.  It counts on an active membership to carry out the unpaid, often burdensome, and always time-consuming chores of Officers, Directors, and Committee Members.  The Society owes much to the talents of its members and their friends for fund raising benefits and gifts that enhance the facilities.

            We extend you a hearty welcome and best wishes for your summer here.

 

The Officers and Directors

Hancock Point Village Improvement Society

 

The names of this year’s Officers, Directors and Committee Members are posted on the bulletin boards at the Post Office and the Library.  If you have any questions not answered here, any of these people will be happy to help you.

 

The current schedule of dues and fees is also posted.  A bill is sent each June to members, and each is asked to assess himself and pay the appropriate sum promptly to the Treasurer.  If you are new to the community and would like to make use of one or more of the HPVIS facilities for the first time, we trust you will make yourself known.


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Here is a gem regarding the fairly recent history of the HP Post Office - 

Just over a decade ago in 2002 the Ellsworth American printed a story about the HP Post Office and interviewed one of our beloved Post Mistresses [reprinted below].  link to original story:

A Post Office (sort of) for The Point

Near Hancock Point, along Post Office Road, sits a small booth of a building. It is sort of a postage-stamp-sized post office and, in fact, isn’t even a true post office.

For four hours a day, Daphne Crocker sits in the single room. She was hired by the Hancock Point Village Improvement Society four summers ago when the Hancock postmaster decided to reduce service at Hancock Point.

With classical music on the radio wafting out the screen doors, Crocker handles a few basic postal operations. She sells stamps and accepts letters and post cards. She sorts mail for the handful of Hancock Point residents who like the tradition of receiving mail in post office boxes. At day’s end (3:30 p.m., in her case), she drives her stack of letters up to the real Hancock post office on Route 1.

She also is the one Hancock Point residents turn to when they want to know what’s going on.

“I’m supposed to know everything about what goes on here,” Crocker says, slightly embarrassed at the thought. “That makes me the chief gossip-monger.

“I don’t particularly want to be known for that, but I suppose I am. Because I do know a lot.”

Crocker even knows the history of the small post office. As someone who has spent all her 54 summers at Hancock Point, she should be well-versed in that. She moved to Hancock Point year-round in 1994.

Once, the post office was connected with a general store, she said. “I remember getting ice cream there as a child,” she added.

Then she backed up to clarify her gossip-monger status, not sure of the lingering impression she may have left.

“I’d say the gossip is who’s here and who’s not here. Nothing juicy or anything.

“It’s actually things like knowing when the next memorial service is. We have had two, so far, this year. We have one next week, and another in August.

“We have lost five so far, unfortunately.”

Four years ago, Hancock Point nearly lost its post office services. When the Society took over the small building, Crocker was hired to handle the mail and …well…  greet and gossip.

“That’s why I got the job,” she said. “Because I know everyone.”

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