The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office is investigating antisemitic graffiti at an intersection on Great Island.

The graffiti includes a swastika and a brief message invoking the Holocaust. It is on the pavement of Stevens Corner Road at the intersection with Harpswell Islands Road, one of the two main roads through Harpswell.

Area resident George Waldman discovered the graffiti on Sunday, Jan. 14, upon returning from a walk. “My initial reaction was horror,” he said in an email.

Waldman said many people pass the intersection without noticing the message, painted in black on the dark pavement. Law enforcement and town officials learned about the graffiti on Monday, Jan. 15, when the Anchor forwarded a photo taken by Waldman.

“This is extremely disturbing and does not represent the values of this community,” Town Administrator Kristi Eiane said.

Waldman said that Eiane promptly responded to the intersection with Cumberland County Sheriff’s Deputy George Bradbury and Harpswell Road Commissioner Ron Ponziani.


Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jim Estabrook confirmed that the agency is investigating the vandalism.

“It is difficult to identify the people responsible for it,” Estabrook said. He said there is no known security footage of the rural intersection.

The agency canvassed the neighborhood and found “no information to suggest nearby residents were targeted,” he said.

Tips about the incident may be submitted through a form on the agency’s website,, or by phone at 207-893-2810.

Estabrook said he expects the town to eventually paint over the graffiti.

Neither law enforcement nor town officials know of any other antisemitic vandalism in Harpswell.


Estabrook said the Sheriff’s Office has not received any other recent reports of antisemitic hate speech, but other agencies in the county have reported a rise in such incidents.

Freeport held an anti-hate rally in September after multiple incidents of antisemitic vandalism, while Portland has seen a rise in antisemitic hate speech since the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, and the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war.

Waldman is not Jewish and does not think the graffiti was directed at him, but rather at anyone who stops at the intersection.

Bath’s Beth Israel Congregation is the closest synagogue to Harpswell, and its board of directors issued a statement in response to the incident.

“We condemn all acts of hate, and we call on local political, religious and peace-loving community members to speak out against all acts of antisemitism and hate toward any group of human beings,” the board said. “If you see or know something, please speak out. Acts of hate toward any group infringe on the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all of us.”

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