Historical Society aims to save city's last lime kiln

By Stephen Betts | Dec 04, 2017
Photo by: Stephen Betts The last standing lime kiln in Rockland is on the Main Street waterfront to the north side of the former E.L. Spear hardware and lumber store.

Rockland — The Rockland Historical Society would like to save the last standing lime kiln in the city.

"The lime industry was such an important economic driver of Rockland for so long," said Ann Morris of the Historical Society. "It would be marvelous if we could preserve this lime kiln and create an educational opportunity."

The kiln is on the north side of the former E.L. Spear store on Main Street.

Morris met last week with Rockland City Manager Tom Luttrell. The city manager said the Historical Society is researching the cost and he said the city would assist the organization by seeing whether there are any grants available for such a project.

The project might require the kiln to be moved. While no plans have been developed, Morris said, her dream would either be for the kiln to be moved to Harbor Park or somewhere along the Harbor Trail.

The kiln was built in 1802 by David Gay, whose home was the building where the Free Press office is located, Morris said. He was the first merchant in Rockland to ship lime to New York City, she said.

In an 1855 map of Rockland, there were 136 lime kilns along the community's waterfront, according to the local historian. There were 150 schooners used to ship the construction material to other ports, according to "The Shore Village Story."

Morris anyone interested in the project should contact the Historical Society, which is in the lower level of the Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St. The telephone number is 594-6193.

Comments (3)
Posted by: WILL MOSS | Dec 05, 2017 21:17

The land is prime waterfront.  I wouldn't be surprised if someone were trying to develop it.


Posted by: Stephen Betts | Dec 05, 2017 13:44

Privately owned, not public land.

Posted by: Kathryn Fogg | Dec 05, 2017 11:45

Does someone want to use the land?  It seems like a shame to move it.

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