Letter: Harpswell has a history of public beach access

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I am writing to encourage all readers to stand behind the long-time residents and majority of people who want to see Harpswell’s natural resource, namely Cedar Beach, be open to the public to enjoy.

I grew up on Bailey Island, as did my ancestors back to the 1700s. I swam on Cedar Beach, took swimming lessons with the Red Cross on Cedar Beach, had Sunday School picnics on Cedar Beach, and family reunions on Cedar Beach, all without asking or needing permission from anyone. As a matter of fact, on most summer days you would see cars parked in the field right by the beach. It was a right-of-way without question.

What is happening to Harpswell’s access to its natural beauty? Why should three or four recent owners overrule a “prescriptive easement” and make this beautiful, and large, sandy beach private for only themselves? Is this what Harpswell wants?

I have been to many public meetings in Harpswell, including Town Meetings, to hear discussions on this issue. It is quite apparent that a great majority of people want to regain access.

As a child I never saw “Keep Off” signs and now Harpswell’s beautiful land is dotted with such ugliness.

I ask you to take time to seriously consider what you can do to save our beach and our town’s beauty.

Nancy Orr Johnson Jensen
Orr’s Island