Stone from Harpswell bridge becomes bench in Brunswick

Cribstone Connection by Ben Goodridge
Times Record Staff

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A stone taken from the Cribstone Bridge was auctioned off a few weeks ago and placed on the property of Cribstone Capital Management in Brunswick on Thursday for use as a bench.

The bridge, which was built in 1928 and connects Orr’s and Bailey islands, underwent extensive renovations in 2009. Many stones were leftover and bought by Linkel Construction Inc. Owner Lance Linkel donated one of the larger stones to the annual Harpswell Fire Department auction.

Richard Nemrow, who owns the Cribstone Capital Management building and the one adjacent to it on Park Row in downtown Brunswick, was the man with the highest bid, doling out $7,000 for the stone. He watched Thursday as the 500-pound stone was unloaded and installed onto his yard by Linkel Construction.

“Harpswell doesn’t get enough money from the state for their volunteer fire department, so they have an annual auction,” said Nemrow, who lives in Harpswell and has owned property in Brunswick for many years. “This stone was donated and they were looking for about $2,000 for it, so they made out pretty well.”

Nemrow and his wife, Ann, both love stones, so he proved to be unbeatable during the auction.

“I outbid a woman from Harspwell who was going to donate the stone to the town,” Nemrow said. “Everyone was happy though because the money was going to the fire department regardless.”

Said Scott Upton, managing partner of Cribstone Capital: “I got the nod that we needed to go bid on the stone. I’m a little happy I didn’t, because I wouldn’t have been able to compete.”

Lance Linkel, with the help of two employees, installed the stone bench in about a half hour. Linkel said he bought “truckloads of stone” from Ray Labbe and Sons during the Cribstone Bridge reconstruction, and the stone donated to the auction was one the bestlooking ones of the bunch. The stones are pure granite cut from various Maine islands in the 1920s, as well as quarries in Brunswick and Pownal. Since the bridge is so unique in design, the stones have considerable historical significance.

“Someone says there might be one other bridge like (the Cribstone) somewhere in the world,” said Nemrow. “I’d like to see it.”

Nemrow said that when he heard the stone was up for auction, he felt predestined to obtain it.

“It just made sense for me to get this stone and put it on this property of the same name,” Nemrow said.

The stone bench, which has a small commemorative plaque on its side, can be seen and sat upon at 155 Park Row in Brunswick.

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