Freeport is privileged to have a historic, significant, 300-year-old cemetery near the shore of Maquoit Bay. The Mann family, and other early settlers of the town, buried their dead here, with the last burial in 1922.

Until 2014, anyone who wanted to visit the cemetery had easy access to it via a dirt road off Lower Flying Point Road. Two years ago, L.L. Bean built its Outdoor Discovery Center building next to the cemetery. During the planning stage, the company assured the Mann family that access to the cemetery would remain. The access road was included in the building plan.

However, once the building was built, L.L. Bean tore up the road, in violation of the approved building plan. Now, the company has come to the town with a request to change their original plan to officially exclude access to the cemetery.

The Mann Cemetery Association and many others object to this change and insist on having access to this historic site that includes at least 168 burial plots. The Manns have worked in good faith with L.L. Bean. They have suggested the company put in an alternative dirt road – a shorter, more direct route to the cemetery.

A public hearing to help decide the issue is scheduled by the Town’s Project Review Board for Sept. 13. The suggested alternative seems like a logical solution to this dispute. I hope that the parties can come to an agreement.

Roben Voigt