OTISFIELD — A piece of Otisfield’s agricultural heritage will become history when the former Frederick Robie Grange Hall on Gore Road is torn down.

The former Frederick Robie Grange hall on Gore Road in Otisfield has been deteriorating since the Grange disbanded in the 1990s. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

The property’s newest owner has not set a date for demolition but has filed the necessary applications with the town to proceed. Scott Owens, who lives on Gore Road, bought the land earlier this month. He says that he plans to put a new building up at some point in the future.

The Frederick Robie Grange was established in Otisfield in 1890 and the hall built on Gore Road about a year later. It was named for Frederick Robie, a two-term governor of Maine and the state’s grange master during the 1880s. The original structure was destroyed by fire in 1940 and rebuilt with cinder block.

Otisfield historian Jean Hankins said that the Grange hall served the Gore neighborhood in multiple capacities through the years.

“Unlike [other areas of town] the Gore never had a church to pull folks together in a village setting,” Hankins said. “According to Orrell Linnell, whose family lived in the Gore for several generations, the Grange served this important social function, providing a venue for dances and suppers in addition to the formal Grange meetings.”

Hankins said that the Otisfield Historical Society holds a number of Linnell’s written accounts of about life in the Gore.


The Robie Grange disbanded in the 1990s and has since passed through a number of private owners. It was used as a residence by at least one person over the years.

For the last several years it stood vacant, its walls buckling and debris and trash accumulating outside. Going back to 2015 Otisfield officials have fielded complaints about the condition of and hazards posed by the building and had contact with different owners about tearing it down.

Most recently, Gore Road resident Joanne Foss voiced concern about the building at an Otisfield Board of Selectmen’s meeting last month. The owner of the building at that time was James Brett and he sold it to Owens shortly after that.


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