Regarding Steven C. Pomelow’s Nov. 17 letter in the Press Herald, about the ownership of land between high and low tides:

Without doubt, the state took claim to it sometime during the past 100 years or so.

However, at least through the 1850s, as attested to in a great number of transactions recorded from 1845 to 1854 at the Cumberland County Registry of Deeds (particularly in volumes 202 through 252), it belonged to the parties owning the property along the high-tide shoreline, all the way out to the low-water mark, with width equaling shoreline boundaries. The tracts in question were sold to the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad and its successor Grand Trunk Railway.

Many of those deeds read “land on Fore Street to low water” and “a strip three rods wide,” as well as larger areas, such as on Page 225 of Volume 250, wherein George Turner sells one half of his flats on Fore Street.

Among the notables of that era who sold tracts along the waterfront to the railroad were members of the Longfellow families, although the sale of Henry’s was through his guardian and aunt, Anne Longfellow Pierce.

John R. Davis

Grand Trunk Railway historian

South Paris