Greenwood Town Hall on Route 26 was was entered in the National Register in January 2001. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

GREENWOOD — Greenwood has two sites on the National Register of Historic Places: one that lost its purpose long ago and another still in use by the community.

Greenwood was required upon its incorporation in 1816 to maintain at least one pound – a place to hold stray livestock impounded by the town’s elected field drivers. Any willing farmer’s barn or barnyard would do. Only after the state began in 1834 requiring each town’s pound keeper to keep also careful records of his transactions did Greenwood decide to build its own enclosure.

The town voted in September 1835 to build a pound “forty feet square inside” with stone walls 5 feet tall and equally wide at the base. The walls were to have a “wooden Cap piece on the top one foot thick well hewed and well put on,” and the work was to be finished “By the first Day of May Next Even to the turn of the Key.” It would sit east of the Greenwood Road, a quarter mile north of the turn to Patch Mountain in Greenwood City.

Simon Furlong – described years later as “a very strong man and fond of his New England rum” – became Greenwood’s first elected pound keeper in 1836. By the time the town elected its last keeper in 1870, the pound and the office were fast becoming relics of an earlier age. When asked in 1915, the oldest man in Paris could not remember animals ever being kept in that town’s pound.

The town voted in September 1835 to build a pound “forty feet square inside” with stone walls five feet tall and equally wide at the base.” Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

Another lifelong resident, aged 84 years, had only a faint memory of seeing such a thing as a boy. A pound built in Albany, it is said, was never used. Damage caused by stray livestock had been a serious problem when the towns were young, but the problem dissipated as fencing improved and settlers became townsfolk and neighbors.

Any dispute that did arise over trampled crops was more easily settled with a handshake or, if need be, a lawsuit for trespass than by having the town corral a fugitive beast. The obsolete and oft-ignored statute requiring towns to maintain pounds and elect keepers was repealed in 1903.


It was Colista Morgan, the Citizen’s Greenwood City correspondent, who brought public attention to Greenwood’s mostly forgotten cattle pound. When she first visited the site in the spring of 1968, it was grown up with trees and underbrush. In the years that followed, the state would make improvements to the road that threatened the pound’s western wall. Mrs. Morgan reported in late 1973 that surveyors had placed markers “directly through the center” of the pound.

The trees had by then been cut, exposing the structure. The road work was completed in 1974, and the site was spared. “Now it needs to be cleaned and repaired as one of Greenwood’s historical spots,” she declared in November.

Greenwood was listening. Voters raised $100 in 1975 to “clean up the Town Pound,” and on Aug. 24, 1979, the town purchased the property. Restoration of the site, which had begun in 1977, continued the following summer. The Greenwood Cattle Pound was placed on the National Register in 2007.

Part of the auditorium in the Greenwood Town Hall. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

Town Hall

The Greenwood Town Hall has fallen on occasion into disrepair, but never into disuse.

The town began in 1888 holding its meetings at a privately owned hall attached to the hotel in Locke Mills. Voters were asked in 1907 and 1908 whether a town hall should be built and twice passed over the question. By 1927 the hotel’s future was precarious, and at town meeting $1,000 was appropriated for a Town Hall Fund. By 1930 the fund had grown to $5,000.


Voters that year weighed buying and repairing the hotel hall, but decided instead to build a new structure. A lot was purchased from Hannah J. Coolidge for $200 in May 1930, and construction was reported to be “progressing rapidly” in November. The town held its first meeting at the new hall on March 2, 1931, and before adjourning raised more money to finish the interior.

The Greenwood Community Club had been organized in August 1930 for the express purpose of raising funds to furnish the soon-to-be-built town hall. Proceeds from a whist and bridge party the club held there in 1931 went to that cause. In 1932 a group of talented locals “gave an entertainment” in support of the hall, and the next year young people from Rowe Hill and Greenwood Center presented a short play and musical numbers followed by a dance. They cleared $25.90 for furnishings – including, it was hoped, a light for the piano.

The new building soon proved its worth. The paint was still fresh when an itinerant theater troupe, the Ethel May Shorey Company, made its first of many appearances on the stage upstairs. A local musical group, the Parisians, played there at weekly Legion-sponsored dances in the cooler months. The hall would host flower, fashion, and variety shows, suppers and sales and Sunday school socials. During World War II, members of the Maine State Guard practiced their marching on its dance floor.

Lynn Cobb shared this photo of a meeting held inside Greenwood Town Hall circa 1975

Greenwood held its grammar school graduations there, and in 1951 the Locke Mills Men’s Club installed basketball hoops for the use of students. A slide show of old images of Greenwood attracted a large crowd in 1979, which led to the creation of the Greenwood Historical Society. The society would go on to sponsor “Old Time Dances” at the hall – decades after the local kids held “record hops” there.

The Greenwood Town Hall was long the place where residents came to elect their leaders and direct their tax dollars. When apprised of its deteriorating condition in 1999, voters directed some of those dollars toward restoring the building.

The Greenwood Town Hall Preservation Committee was formed, and the hall was repaired, painted, and made more accessible. It was entered in the National Register in January 2001, and in March, after a two-year break, it again hosted Greenwood’s annual meeting.

Lynn Cobb shared this photo of a meeting held inside Greenwood Town Hall circa 1975

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