After Wescustogo fire, North Yarmouth rallies at Fun Day

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NORTH YARMOUTH — The Village Green on Walnut Hill Road, next to where Wescustogo Hall was destroyed by fire three weeks before, was a scene of revelry at Saturday’s annual Fun Day celebration.

Despite the recent loss of the town’s landmark former Grange hall – the home of elections, Town Meetings, and many other community events, including the rain-day location for Fun Day – the show would go on, Events Committee Chairman Jason Raven said recently. And the spirit of the event proved him right.

The gathering had been planned by the committee since January, and became a way to say goodbye to both summer and Wescustogo, where a vacant, re-seeded lot is all that remains.

A parade kicked things off Saturday, followed by awards to Ursula Baier and Bob Geyer as North Yarmouth’s distinguished citizens of the year.

“We may have lost Wescustogo Hall, but with dedicated volunteers like Ursula and Bob, we will never lose the good community we have,” Raven said.

Baier and her family moved into the 1773 Martin Ring House on Walnut Hill Road in 1966, restoring the house and researching its history, according to the Events Committee.

Baier’s enthusiasm for history is also evidenced by her participation in a survey of historic houses in town, her creation of “North Yarmouth: an Illustrated History 1680-1980,” and a town archives, the committee noted. She also saved the Old Town House from being destroyed, helped create the North Yarmouth Historical Society, and was involved in the founding in 1999 of Skyline Farm.

“It’s more than one person, you know,” Baier noted, when accepting her award. “A great many people are involved in this.”

Geyer, a U.S. Navy veteran, moved to town in 1965, working as a carpenter, builder and furniture maker. He joined the town’s Fire Department in 1972 and has been called “an excellent worker and a dedicated firefighter” by Fire Chief Ricky Plummer .

“I’ve always said that not one of us makes or breaks a department or organization or can’t be replaced,” Plummer said in a prepared statement. “But I think I’m wrong. Bob just may be one person who is irreplaceable.”

In accepting his award, Geyer expressed gratitude to the people with whom he has worked over the years.

Pam Ames, who manages Skyline Farm and received the award in 2009, said Saturday that this year’s Fun Day was delayed because a wedding was to be held at Wescustogo Hall earlier this month.

“So this (event) was pushed out, and it’s all worked out beautifully, and allowed people that month that they needed to kind of assimilate what had happened,” Ames said, “and then to be able to bounce back and say ‘let’s get together and pull the town together.'”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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Ursula Baier, left, and Bob Geyer were named North Yarmouth’s distinguished citizens of the year Sept. 21 during the town’s annual Fun Day celebration.

Members of American Legion Post 91 of Yarmouth were among participants in the Sept. 21 Fun Day parade.

Fun Day was held on Village Green, adjacent to the former site of Wescustogo Hall, where a re-seeded vacant lot is all that remains after an Aug. 29 fire destroyed the building.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.