The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold an open house at Timber Point in Biddeford on Saturday as part of the process to decide what to do with estate’s historic buildings.

Timber Point, at the end of Granite Point Road, includes one of the largest undeveloped properties on the southern Maine coast. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bought the property with a $3 million appropriation from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and more than $2 million raised by The Trust for Public Land, the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and the Friends of Rachel Carson. It includes a 97-acre peninsula and a 13-acre island.

The open house – the last in a series of three – is part of the long process to evaluate the future use of the property. It also allows the public to comment on the Timber Point environmental assessment. Comments will be taken through Oct. 31.

The open house will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. Carpooling is encouraged because of limited parking in the area.

The estate’s 14-bedroom cottage was built around 1930 by master architect Charles Ewing. Other buildings on the property include a garage/woodshop complex, truck garage, boathouse, changing shed, remnants of a greenhouse, and other structures. These buildings are possibly eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, according to the wildlife service.

The buildings have been empty since 2011.


The Fish and Wildlife Service is considering four options for the buildings, according to the environmental assessment released in September. Those options include demolishing the buildings, limited maintenance of the buildings or two alternatives that would allow some public interaction.

Under the plan preferred by the service, there would be long-term preservation of buildings that are potentially eligible for the historic register. Trails on the property would be expanded and a self-guided tour of panels about Ewing and the habitat would be added to the exterior of buildings. The service estimates that plan would cost $390,000 to stabilize the buildings and about $35,000 a year to maintain.

Another alternative would allow the Fish and Wildlife Service to partner with a nonprofit group to allow use of the buildings by the public and local community. That plan would cost $3.2 million to bring the main house up to standards as a visitor center and about $80,000 a year to maintain, according to the environmental assessment.

The nonprofit Timber Point Center is advocating the Fish and Wildlife service choose the alternative that would allow the buildings to be preserved and used by groups for educational retreats or meetings.

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