Islesboro Community Center: A Brief History
An Old Friend Returns to the Heart of the Community
Islesboro’s original historic Community Hall was built in 1858 from shares purchased by townspeople at the cost of $3.00 each, payable in cash or labor. The leadership came from the local Sewing Circle: “a group of feisty Maine women even then.” This simple all-purpose grange hall type building served as the hub of the island’s social life for nearly 150 years. From Town Meetings to the Firemen’s Ball, to graduations to the very popular high school basketball games, to Ruth Draper monologues (when she summered on the island), the Community Hall was the very soul of Islesboro.
The Town of Islesboro sold the Community Hall in the late 1980’s to a private party. The Islesboro Community Center, Inc. was registered as a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization in 2001 for the purposes of establishing a community center on Islesboro. In 2005 the Islesboro Community Center purchased the old Community Hall building back in order to create the space needed for a modern community center, while simultaneously saving and restoring a historic island site in the heart of the community.
A broad range of ICC activities was then established during the ICC planning process by a diverse group of island residents. Program goals for the use of this building include the following:
- Re-establish the Community Hall as Islesboro’s primary gathering place.
- Improve health and fitness of all islanders with cooking and fitness classes (an astonishing 70% of islanders carry a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease).
- Support Islesboro’s children.
- Provide great access to the performing and visual arts.
- Sponsor stimulating presentations, debates, educational programs and the like.
- Promote togetherness and personal growth.
- Encourage intergenerational activities.
- Serve other island-based organizations that are open to the public.
- Enhance the all around quality of life for the entire Islesboro community, both year-round and seasonal.
Volunteers have worked tirelessly for many years to make the ICC a reality for the entire island to enjoy. The ICC thanks all Volunteers for their extraordinary vision and support in making a dream come true for our community.