FARMINGTON – Historical tidbits, original photographs and artwork illustrating Farmington’s rich heritage and posted on signs were installed today, all part of a directed walking tour of downtown.
The signs, posted at North Church, Meetinghouse Park, the corner of Main and Broadway, off Front Street, on the corner of Front and Main streets, Abbott Park, at the University of Maine at Farmington and at the Farmington Library, all have one thing in common: they sit at a site of historical significance.
As Mike and Sam Monahan of SignWorks installed the sign at the North Church, members of the committee who helped decide what the signs should look like, say and be located, celebrated the completion of the project.
The signs, which direct walkers to the next signs of the tour, took two years to complete, as part of a $150,000 Community Block Development Grant used to renovate Church Street, and provide lighting just around the corner on Cony Street. The walking tour committee included members of the Farmington Historical Society, the Maine Mountain Heritage Center and town officials.
It was the work of artist Thomas Merrian of Naples, whose watercolor creation of Farmington was chosen to top each sign. Many of the early photographs of Farmington’s buildings and people were donated for use on the signs by several community members. Howie’s Welding of North Jay, built the curved metal frames for the signs.
The historical information on each sign provides a glimpse into the town’s founding and the people who settled here. At the North Church, which is undergoing major renovations of its own and is home to the historical society, walkers will learn that the Unitarian Society, which was formed here in 1830, purchased the lot in 1873 and built the church. The church’s missing steeple is explained as having been blown off during a storm in 1947. A photograph belonging to Tom Sawyer shows the church as it once looked – steeple and all.
“It’s beautiful,” Town Manager Richard Davis said, pictured above, looking at the sign. “It provides education to visitors and they’re attractive.”
Sam and Mike Monahan of SignWorks install a walking tour sign at the North Church at the intersection of Church and High streets in Farmignton.