In 1916, a group of folks in Lincolnville started meeting in various homes for the purpose of organizing a group that would be interested in improving the community. It was eventually given the official name the Lincolnville Improvement Association, as it remains today.

The purpose of this nonprofit association was to raise money for various projects. The first meetings were held in the Community Hall at the beach. The hall burned down, and eventually the Lincolnville Improvement Association moved into the first floor of the old Beach School, a building owned by the town. This remains the same today.

It’s been over 93 years now, and the LIA is still going strong.

The members of the LIA are dedicated volunteers who take on a variety of projects. They are not “summer folks,” though some are seasonal, living here for six months of the year. There are six seasonal families but 20 year-round members. All own homes and pay taxes, though home ownership is not a requirement of membership. Many members have deep family roots in town and are very proud to be part of the Lincolnville community today. Others are newcomers who want to participate in the spirit of giving back to their new town.

Many years ago, one of the first projects was the building of sidewalks at the beach, but the LIA is now a community-wide organization: 16 members live in the beach area and 20 in or near Lincolnville Center, so the town is well represented. The LIA also has members from all three churches in Lincolnville: Bayview Baptist Church, Community Crossroads Baptist Church, and the United Christian Church. Members of the Lincolnville Women’s Club and the Lincolnville Historical Society are also active in the group, so it is well represented.

The LIA maintains the former Beach School with volunteer labor and funds for projects that require professional work. The kitchen is slowly being renovated with new stoves, refrigerators, new flooring, a new water heater, and other major improvements like new electrical wiring. The heat is left on all winter to accommodate other groups like the Lincolnville Historical Society and Schoolhouse Museum, which use the upper floor of the building.

The LIA holds an annual Blueberry Wing Ding at the beach every August to help earn funds for scholarships for Lincolnville students heading off to college and for local children who otherwise couldn’t afford to attend Tanglewood 4-H Camp.

LIA members also tend the gardens at the beach, especially the flower boat. Members put in many hours there. Also an LIA endeavor was the beach sign, which was contributed and designed by them.

In addition to the Blueberry Wing Ding, the group’s other fundraisers include selling Lincolnville T-shirts and sweatshirts, which depict places in town, and attractive afghans, which also include Lincolnville scenes.

The LIA encourages all town folks to get involved with its organization and welcomes new members. For more information, call 763-4644.