|Maine House||District 131|
|Maine Senate||District 8|
|Area sq. mi.||(total) 39.5|
|Area sq. mi.||(land) 38.9|
Total=land+water; Land=land only
[DED-hm] is a Hancock County town settled in 1810, named for Dedham, Massachusetts, and incorporated on February 7, 1837 from township T8. The originally large area was diminished by conceding land to Brewer in 1841 and Ellsworth in 1857, though Dedham did annex some land from Bucksport in 1909.
Home to two substantial lakes, Phillips and Green, the town is a growing recreational suburb of the Bangor-Brewer area. Lucerne Inn is a landmark for all passing by on Route 1A. According to a statement in the Congressional Record by Senator Olympia Snowe,
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since June of 1982, the [Lucerne] inn is a legendary business with an impressive history. Indeed, Dedham’s first family, the Phillips, built a family home called the Lake House in the early 1800s. John Phillips had been granted the land for his service in the American Revolution. Soon thereafter, in 1814, the building became a halfway house, operating as a stagecoach stop between Bangor and Ellsworth, with guests partaking in food, spirits, and lodging. Indeed, today’s Lucerne Inn is still housed in the original building built by the Phillips family. Later, during the 1920s, the inn and the 5,000 acres around it were designed to be one of America’s first planned communities. As such, the Maine Legislature created the village of Lucerne in 1927 to bring people to this beautiful region, but the economic troubles of the 1930s forced the idea to be scrapped.
The village corporation of Lucerne-in-Maine was created by the legislature by Chapter 43 of the Private and Special Laws of 1927. Its charter has been amended from time-to-time, such as in 2012 regarding its governing board:
Commencing at any summer meeting in 2012 and for each year thereafter, any legal voter of the village corporation may be elected for a 3-year term as an overseer. A person may run for the office of overseer for as many terms as that person is nominated. When a seat becomes vacant, the Board of Overseers shall hold an election for that seat, establishing a term that ensures that one seat expires each calendar year. If an overseer resigns from office prior to the summer meeting, the remaining members of the Board of Overseers shall appoint an overseer to fill the position until the next summer meeting. At the first Board of Overseers’ meeting following each summer meeting, the board shall choose a chair for the ensuing year.
See this WABI-TV news clip about the village from the archives of Northeast Historic Film.
At Dedham village, in the extreme western portion of the town, Mill Stream retains evidence of an old mill site. Nearby, the Congregational Church stands at the crossroads of Maine Route 46 (the lower Dedham road) and Mill Road.
Green Lake, which it shares with Ellsworth, is an attraction with summer cottages, a beach, and boating opportunities in Green Lake village.
Dedham, Maine Centennial Celebration, August 28, 1937. 1937. [Maine State Library]
Emery, Martha. History Town of Dedham. Dedham, Me. Dedham Bicentennial Committee. 1983.
*Maine. Historic Preservation Commission. Augusta, Me. Text and photos from National Register of Historic Places: http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/text/87000938.PDF and http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/photos/87000938.PDF
Snowe, Olympia. “Lucerne Inn.” Congressional Record. July 15, 2009. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?r111:4:./temp/~r111DzPCrM:: (accessed November 6, 2011)
National Register of Historic Places – Listings
[Bar Harbor Road, Route 1A] The Lucerne Inn is significant for its long history as a resting place for travelers between Bangor and Ellsworth, and for its connection with the planned community of the 1920’s “Lucerne-in-Maine.” The first building was completed c.1815; it has been remodeled many times, most recently in the late 1920’s. Dedham was first settled in 1810 by Nathan Phillips, who built the first “Halfway-House” on the shore of Phillips (now Lucerne) Lake. It served as the stage- coach stop halfway between Bangor and Ellsworth, thus the name.* (See more details above.)