A crowd of about 150 people gathered in Lincolnville Center on Saturday, Oct. 27, for the historic move of the building that, until the mid-1940s, housed Lincolnville Center School. A misty morning gave way to sunshine as volunteers registered to assist with hand-pulling the 25,000 pound, 19th century building across Route 52 to the site of the former Dean and Eugley Service Station where it will become a community library. The town-owned property has sat vacant for more than a decade.

On Oct. 27 traffic through Lincolnville Center was redirected for about 90 minutes as volunteers worked to manually pull the building across the road. Central Maine Power was on hand to see that the building made it safely under the power lines. The move began at 9 a.m. and progressed quickly, by 9:20 a.m., the 850-square-foot building was at the edge of Route 52. By approximately 10:30 a.m., the building was in place; some volunteers remained on site to turn the building and position it on the slab where it will be set on blocks until footings are poured, said Lincolnville Historical Society President Diane O'Brien.

The building was sold to the historical society by Lincolnville Boat Club for $1 earlier this fall. The boat club also owns the old fire station garage that shared the original site of the schoolhouse. Lincolnville Boat Club purchased both buildings from the town in late fall 2011 after both structures sat unoccupied for approximately a year following the construction of the new Lincolnville Fire Station. The boat club purchased both buildings and the property for $40,000. Lincolnville Boat Club offered the schoolhouse building to Lincolnville Historical Society with a unique catch — that it be moved directly across the street.

A fundraising campaign for the move and library has drawn community interest since earlier this spring. Bake sales, a radio play and a picnic/auction were organized to help raise funds for moving the building. In a previously published report, O'Brien explained that organizers of the move were inspired by a video of a barn being moved in Nebraska during the 1980s, they decided to undertake the move using human power rather than heavy machinery.

"It's more fun," O'Brien explained.

On Oct. 10, a group of about a dozen men and women, with Paul Cartwright of Camden at the helm, moved the school house to the edge of the former site. In preparation for the move the interior was braced with a crosshatching of lumber and a track — made of railroad ties — was created to aid in moving the building forward. Pipes placed beneath the building allowed it to slowly roll forward.

The Oct. 27 move is just the beginning, O'Brien said in a previously published report. Renovations including flooring and restoring the historic facade are among major projects she said could be completed before the snow flies. Additional fundraising will commence as well, she added.

O'Brien said now that the building has successfully been moved, it will likely be temporarily secured with tarps as it has two large, open areas where no wall exists. She said securing an open area of a shed still remaining on the boat club property is a priority.

Courier Publications reporter Jenna Lookner can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at jlookner@courierpublicationsllc.com.