Beech Ridge School courtesy photo/ Linda McLoon

A piece of Scarborough’s history is undergoing a transformation as the Scarborough Historical Society persists in the restoration of the 19th-century Beech Ridge School. The Beech Ridge Community Club donated the property in 2018 to the Scarborough Historical Society. The society has made substantial strides in preserving this iconic structure.

The Beech Ridge School, located at 184 Holmes Road and belonging to District No. 7, stands as a rare survivor among Scarborough’s district schools. While others were either demolished or repurposed, this historic building faced decades of vacancy and decay until the Scarborough Historical Society intervened.

The society has actively held fundraising initiatives and overseen the restoration of the structure. The initial phase involved relocating the school building to provide a new foundation and a basement. Rotted sills were replaced, and a brick façade was added to the foundation, with support pouring in from various donors.

The Prouts Neck Historical Society, was one of the donors, it “funded the cost of the new doors and windows which were installed,” Linda McLoon of the Scarborough Historical Society said. “Additional donations came forward, including a matching grant for $5,000 from the Maine Community Foundation, which required donations of an equal amount. Numerous in-kind donations of labor and services have since been provided by Scarborough individuals and businesses.” The Scarborough Historical Society’s  is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; donations to the society are tax deductible.

External renovations, including roof replacement, installation of historically accurate clapboards, and the refurbishment of windows and doors, were successfully completed. A modern septic system was installed, and the chimney underwent repointing, which was completed by local contractor Robbie Alden from Alden Joinery and Restoration. With the exterior work largely accomplished, attention has shifted to the interior of the school. The project is now entering its final phase.

Beech Ridge School inerior courtesy photo/ Linda McLoon

To date, $183,150 has been raised toward the $280,000 needed to complete the restoration. These funds are crucial for ensuring that the Beech Ridge School can be preserved for community functions. Donations can be made by mail to the historical society at P.O. Box 156, Scarborough, ME, or online at

The preservation efforts on the Beech Ridge School stand as a testament to the Scarborough Historical Society’s commitment to conserving the town’s rich heritage for future generations.

In addition to the restoration project, the Scarborough Historical Society, in collaboration with the Scarborough Public Library, is hosting a program on Dec. 3, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Scarborough Public Library. Prouts Neck Historical Society Executive Director Philip von Stade will discuss the evolution of Scarborough maps from 1605 to the present, exploring the role of cartographers, marketing tools, historic perspectives, and more.

The Scarborough Historical Society has a full roster of programs for the coming year, with the next program on Jan. 7, featuring Dr. Stephen Spaulding discussing Prominent Diseases in Early Scarborough. Due to limited seating, reservations can be made at or by calling the library at 396-6279.

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