Alexander/Crawford History


By John Dudley & 

Cassie Oakes


Do you know the difference between abandoning and discontinuing a public road?  Do you know how private roads become public?

Well lets look at it in this case.

The Town of Alexander voted on March 25, 1901 to petition the County Commission to discontinue the Breakneck Road from the south east of Fred Vining’s to the Cooper line.  Selectman Charles E. Tyler and Gorham P. Flood filed the petition on April 22, 1901.

The commissioners ordered a hearing at the dwelling house of Fred Vining to hear the petitioners, they heard witnesses and viewed the road in question.  Notice of said hearing was to be posted in the two towns (Alexander and Cooper) involved and published in the Machias Republican.  That meeting was at 10:00 AM on June 26, 1901.

On October 8, 1901 the petition was denied.

This information came from Volume 5 of the County Commissioner’s Ledger on page 506.  The Commissioners were Jethro B. Nutt, Saunders G. Spooner and George H. Coffin.

Now here is a second case.

By consent of the four landowners who own property on both sides of the Flat Road extension south of the Berry-Spearin Roads, it is requested that said section of the Flat Road be abandoned by the town.  The road would still be available for fire access, for extraction of gravel or logging by arrangement with the landowners involved.

Any other use would be arranged only by written permission from the land (owners) from which such as in request.

This request for road closure is due to repeated trespass violations including unauthorized fires, dumping, theft of gravel, timber trespass, vandalism, shoreline erosion, theft of personal property, repeated abuse of and damage to a private road (particularly in mud season), by unauthorized vehicles and extensive littering including contamination of the waters of Meddybemps Lake.

Signed and submitted by Warren Balgooyan, Dyer Crosby, Howard P. Seavey and Charlie Holmes (as tenant)-Witness Deanne Greenlaw-July 28, 1993.

This information is from a copy of the petition on file at the Archive.  No action on this request was found in the warrants of town meetings.  Did the Town abandon (just stop maintenance of) the Flat Road as requested?  By 1997?  When we got E-991 addresses, the last address on the  maintained road was 290, the Orin Hunnewell place, the site where Charlie Holmes had lived.