Congratulations to the town of Oakland. We now have a beautiful town centerpiece, a gazebo located off the Old Belgrade Road in a location shared and formally known as “The Boat Landing.”

This gazebo will be an excellent venue for many events, such as educational programs concerning the environment. It will provide shelter for those enjoying our public beach during summer storms. It will be a beautiful setting for small lakeside weddings. It will provide a location for musicians from the Snow Pond Center for the Arts and others to demonstrate their skills in a public setting close to the New England Music Camp.

Most importantly, it will be a location in Oakland where residents can go for a moment of reflection or to be near their loved one at the largest cemetery in Oakland. A person can quietly sit on the memorial bench dedicated to the three young Oakland people who were tragically murdered on Nov. 5, 2015 — Michael Muzerolle, Amanda Bragg and Amy DeRosby.

Every person going inside the gazebo can look up at the blue light shining down on the life and legacy of Cassidy Charette and the Shine On Cass Foundation; Cassidy was killed in a hayride accident on Oct. 11, 2014.

What a great place for a memorial park.

On Nov. 7, residents of Oakland will be charged with selecting a name for our new park from four suggested choices. One of the four will be “Oakland Waterfront Park.” While the name might sound nice, Bangor already has a Waterfront Park, as does Bath. Does Oakland want to be like cities to the north and south?

Another choice will be Willey Point Park. We already have a Pleasant Point Park, located at Pleasant Point Meadows on McGrath Pond, and the gazebo is not on Willey Point. In addition to location accuracy and originality issues, calling it Willey Point Park may be troublesome for some, as naming it after any one family name was originally rejected because we have many great people who have done a lot for Oakland, past and present.

Another choice will be Harbor Memorial Park. According to a postcard made by the W.W. Berry Company, located in Waterville and in Germany, the gazebo is located at the entrance to what was know as Messalonskee Harbor. In the postcard Messalonskee Hall is predominately displayed. Messalonskee Hall was built in 1903 and partially removed in 1923. The postcard has a one-cent stamp requirement. From this we can safely determine the card was made between 1903 and 1917, when postage was raised to two cents to help fund World War I. In the “Harbor,” visitors could take a cruise out to Blake Island and enjoy White Perch Chowder along the way. Are there any deeds registered with the location as being in the Messalonskee Harbor area? Maybe.

Does a harbor belong on a lake away from the ocean? That precedent was established many years ago with Sebago Harbor in Maine, and Sunapee and Newberry harbors, both on Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire. One can go up and down the East Coast of the United States and find many harbors on lakes. Center Harbor and Winterport harbors on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, Snug Harbor on Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg in Webster, Massachusetts, better known as Webster Lake (I wonder why).

Let’s not forget the Snug Harbor Road to Great Pond, right here in our own back yard. In 1853 Henry David Thoreau wrote of Maine’s Chesuncook Lake as, “having a quiet harbor.”

The final choice will be Lakeview Memorial Park. The gazebo park does have a beautiful lake view and is adjacent to both Lakeview and Middle cemeteries, where more than 1,000 of our area residents are interned. The name also memorializes those that we have tragically lost in Oakland over recent years. The name is original and appropriate and as an added bonus, it has a nice sound.

The list could go on and on but it won’t. The residents of Oakland will soon have their say. We all must respect whatever that is. The end result is that Oakland will have a beautifully crafted and ideally located centerpiece to be proud of, a place where memories will be recalled and new ones will be made.

Gary A. Bennett operates Snow Pond Cruises and Historical Tours in Oakland.

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